You are here

International traveling exhibit of artworks using innovative material on display in the Dean’s Gallery

Top Stories

Dedicated: 2023 Student Juried Art Exhibition on view from March 1 - March 24

The Department of Visual Arts – Dedicated: 2023 Student Juried Art Exhibition will be on display at the Fletcher Hal

Read More ➝

Brandon Graving's, Then and Now opens in the Dean's Gallery

Brandon Graving: Then and Now, Selections of 40 years of Printmaking

Read More ➝

High School Rally Art Exhibition opens February 4th

The UL Lafayette College of the Arts and the Department of Visual Arts is hosting the 2023 Louisiana High School Lit

Read More ➝

Paper Alchemy is an exhibition of artworks traveling internationally curated by James Thurman. It more than forty new artworks created specifically for this exhibition by thirty-eight different artists from four countries (Italy, Kuwait, Scotland, Turkey, and USA).  All artworks include a piece of Thurmanite®, an innovative environmentally conscious material created by Mr. Thurman and used in his own artworks for nearly twenty years.  It is made of layers of recycled paper bonded with a plant-based eco-resin.  The exhibition includes wearable jewelry, small sculptures, and wall-mounted artworks.

James Thurman, Associate Professor of Metalsmithing & Jewelry at the University of North Texas’ College of Visual Arts & Design, has curated or juried numerous exhibitions throughout his career.  This exhibition is unique because it features Thurmanite®, previously only used in the creation of his own artworks.  By distributing this material to the participating artists, visitors to the exhibition can see the range of creative applications of this environmental material and gain appreciation for the potential of recycled materials.

Paper Alchemy debuted in Istanbul, Turkey, at Atelier Maya, June 18-30, 2021.  The debut of Paper Alchemy in the United States was at Radford University’s Art Museum at Covington Center, September 6 to November 19, 2021.  It will continue to travel throughout the United States and other countries for several more years.  Additional venues are still being confirmed.

As Ashley Callahan wrote in her essay for the exhibition catalogue,
“The artists in Paper Alchemy brought fresh approaches to Thurmanite—relishing the novelty of the material while finding ways to make it fit with their individual styles, techniques, and ideas… It is a passion project for Thurman, a chance to bring artists together around a material, his material, and celebrate the joy of making.”

Exhibitions typically have a uniting theme or concept, but this is the first exhibition solely focused on this special handmade material.  For more information and recent updates, visit or contact James Thurman directly.

The exhibition will be on display in the College of the Art’s Dean’s Gallery for the month of October. The Dean’s Gallery is located on the second floor Fletcher Hall. The exhibition was brought to the UL Lafayette College of the Arts through the efforts of Dan DiCaprio, Associate Professor of Metalwork and Jewelry, SLEMCO/BORSF Endowed Professor in the Arts, and Faculty member of the Department of Visual Arts. Additionally, Prof. Dicaprio is one of the 38 artists exhibiting work in the Paper alchemy traveling exhibition.

About: James Thurman is an Associate Professor at the University of North Texas’ College of Visual Arts & Design, where he is faculty and Program Coordinator of Metalsmithing/Jewelry.  He received his MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  In 2012 and 2016, he was a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in Istanbul, Turkey. A highly active studio artist for over twenty years, he is well-known for Thurmanite, a recycled paper and bio-resin composite material that he developed and trademarked.  His recent work is focused on combining Thurmanite with metal spinning, pewter, and miniature painting techniques.

Media Contact: James Thurman, Curator
Phone: 814.883.1943, email: