Transformations From Newsprint to Art

Kenneth Wood

by Karin Bergstresser

When you live in paradise, you have a responsibility to maintain a healthy ecosystem. U.S -born Kenneth Wood, who has lived in Guatemala for over two decades, makes his contribution to the environment by turning old newsprint into art.

He collaborates with ADISA, an organization in Santiago Atitlán that offers employment to young adults with physical and/or psychological challenges. Together, they began by producing thin strips of recycled newspaper and wound them into bowls and jars. But the format soon grew, as ADISA and Wood let their imaginations take flight. The paper strips took new kinds of spirally shapes—flat, tall, narrow, wide—first produced by the hundreds and then, by the thousands.

Back in his studio, Wood composes his distinctive art within a contained frame – the only boundary to endless possibilities. The result is flowing 3-D organic landscapes.

“These wall sculptures reveal themselves,” he explains. “My job is to open up the space for it to happen.”

The joy of working with recycled material is twofold: Wood not only turns trash into art while contributing to a cleaner habitat, but his work also offers employment to young adults with handicaps.

“Living at Lake Atitlán sensitizes one to the beautiful and fragile environment.

I hope my work encourages people to re-use every day disposable items in a creative way,” he says. “I believe that everybody has a responsibility to do what is within their reach to honor a healthy environment.”

Wood’s art will be shown at the Panza Verde Art Gallery in La Antigua Guatemala, opening on March 13th at 5 p.m. His work can also be seen at www.kennethwoodpaper.com

Wood’s art will be shown at the Panza Verde Art Gallery in La Antigua, opening on March 13th at 5 p.m.

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