Valley of the Sunflower Papermaking Project Combines Sustainability and Local Art

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valley of the sunflower harvest.jpeg
Valley of the Sunflowers Facebook page
The first harvest of the Valley of the Sunflowers...but the story doesn't end there.
A year ago you might have noticed a pop of color in downtown Phoenix near Roosevelt Row. The infusion of golden yellow came from the transformation of a vacant, two-acre lot into The Valley of the Sunflowers, a community supported partnership meant to beautify, educate and support sustainability.

After the first harvest, an offshoot project emerged when three papermaking artists got their hands on the leftover sunflower stalks. The resulting Valley of the Sunflowers Paper Project looks to carry on the theme of sustainability while also involving local artists in an installation at Combine Studios in January.

See also:
- A Lot of Sunflowers (in Downtown Phoenix)
- GOOD 'N PLENTY: SMoCA's Community-Funded Artist Grant and Local Art Celebration Returns for Round Two in December

The idea for the project came from Dana LeMoine and Rachel Nore, both graduate students in printmaking at Arizona State University, and Kerri Harding, recently an employee of Hayden Library working in bookbinding and conservation. The trio saw an opportunity to combine the art of papermaking with sustainability and local art and began to explore the idea of using sunflower stalks to make high-quality paper.

To fund the project, they setup a Kickstarter campaign that reached its $600 goal with more than a week and half left to their final deadline. The funds will go toward the cost of making additional paper, installation supplies and promotion materials for the exhibition. Additionally, the trio will create a spiral bound recipe book with information about how to make paper from sunflower stalks.

"There isn't a lot of information on the internet or in books about how to make sunflower paper," Nore explains. "We tried to treat it like some of the other plants we'd worked with before."

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