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In the paper

For those in search of catharsis, art can be a powerful tool.

And it's difficult to think of a group of people more in need of releasing pent-up feelings than America's many brave military veterans. Enter Combat Paper, a national art program in which vets' former uniforms are cut into shreds, beat into a pulp and formed into sheets of blank paper. With the guidance of instructors, veterans then create artworks on the paper in an attempt, as one program participant said, to reshape "that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful."

Starting Thursday, the Niagara County Community College art gallery (3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn) will host "Fabric of War: Papermaking and Printmaking as Social Engagement," an exhibition featuring work by "Combat Paper" participants. The gallery will host a reception Feb. 1, and a variety of workshops, demonstrations and artist talks will be held in conjunction with the exhibition.

For more information, call 614-5975 or visit

-- Colin Dabkowski

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