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The Krider Prize for Creativity was awarded to Drew Cameron, co-founder, Combat Paper, and David Keefe, director, Combat Paper New Jersey.

Coming home from war is a difficult thing. There is often much to account for as a survivor. A new language must be developed in order to express the magnitude and variety of the collective effect. Hand papermaking is the language of Combat Paper. By working in communities directly affected by warfare and using the uniforms and artifacts from their experiences, a transformation occurs and our collective language is born.

Through papermaking workshops, veterans use their uniforms worn in service to create works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper. Participants use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniforms as art and express their experiences with the military.

The Combat Paper Project is based in San Francisco, California with affiliate paper mills in New Jersey, New York and Nevada. The project has traveled to Canada, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Kosovo providing workshops, exhibitions, performances and artists talks.

The UCDA Foundations Krider Prize for Creativity is dedicated to heightening the synergy between all creative endeavors and recognizing those who have pushed creativity beyond established boundaries. Combat Paper was chosen for the Krider Prize for Creativity because of several specific reasons:

  • the Combat Paper Project was founded through collaboration, experimentation and creative thinking;
  • the project brought a specific population together with a unique process of papermaking to encourage and enable healing and self expression;
  • the project used an ancient art form to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences, embodying their stated mission: From uniform to pulp; Battlefield to workshop; and Warrior to artist;
  • the project broadened the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture.

Photo of Dres Cameron and David Keefe at the UCDA Design Conference by Matthew Lester.