Cut a space for yourself in the art world

Beatrice+Coron+Photo+credit%3A+Matthew+Claybrook

Beatrice Coron Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Photo by Matthew Claybrook

“There are a lot of ways to cut paper as there are a lot of ways to tell stories,” said Beatrice Coron, beginning her artist talk in Ruth Taylor Recital Hall on March 19.

Coron spoke as a part of the Stieren Guest Artist series, discussing her career as well as the history of papercutting as an artform. Her work spans multiple areas, often transferring her papercut designs into mediums like metal and glass. She has featured her designs in works of public art as well as exhibitions on fashion and visual storytelling. Before becoming an artist, Coron worked as a tour guide, a cleaning lady, and a truck driver.

“I was not trying to fit in any mold,” Coron said, about becoming an artist later in her life. “When you do something later, it’s like you don’t know all the words, but you kind of know the music. You recognize when things are right and when it doesn’t work. “

Jongwon Lee, professor in the Department of Art and Art History, originally proposed bringing Coron to speak at Trinity after seeing her Ted Talk.

“She keeps old tradition and collaborates with new technology to make it a new medium,” Lee said , referring to the long history of papercutting. “Her imagery is very striking, especially the bold contrast. It attracts [viewer’s] eyes and makes [them] want to see more. People are not used to that kind of texture and marking that she does. I think we are always attracted to something new and different, and if it’s well-done like her work, I think it’s even better.”

One recent project of Coron’s, titled “Fashion Warriors,” covered clothing styles of women over history with Coron creating papercut clothing designs. Coron began the project after inspiration from the 2016 Women’s March.

“The ‘Fashion Warriors’ is about women presenting themselves in social situations and how the costume is so important for the function and how [they] want to be seen,” Coron said.

Coron’s work features visual storytelling prominently, with projects like wearable books, metal renderings of Shakespeare’s works and a book jacket cut into a wearable jacket. Her public art has been featured in the subways of New York City and Los Angeles. She also designed the cover for the Dave Matthews Band most recent album, “Come Tomorrow.”

“You could see in the time-lapse video just how long and meticulous everything was,” said junior Nick Smetzer. “It was really impressive how empty space could make such complicated pictures.”

Coron emphaszied breaking away from the conventions of the art world. When asked after her talk what she would tell young artists, Coron gave this advice:

“Keep on connecting to what’s real, to make work and to show it and to try everything that’s for free. Put your art everywhere it can be seen … If you see people that you would love in that industry, maybe you can’t get into that magazine but maybe you can put some art at the cafe that they go to. Just be persistent.”

Her advice extended to making mistakes as well, with her response to one audience member who asked what she would if she messed up near the end of a project drawing laughs from the rest of the audience.

“I make a bigger hole,” Coron said. “My philosophy is that if you make [an artwork] once, you can make it twice.”

Coron’s work can be found on her website beatricecoron.com.