As you complete your list of things to see during winter break - Prospect.4, Music Box Village, art and history museums - add a trip to the new Paper Machine, an art gallery-print shop-artist studio in the Lower 9th Ward.
Paper Machine, produced by the arts nonprofit Dashboard U.S., opened Nov. 28 in a former warehouse at 6330 St. Claude Ave. It features a 20-foot-tall, two-story kinetic sculpture of a working printing press by Christopher Deris, a print shop, art gallery, archive of art prints and books and six artist studios. Visitors can see the interactive sculpture in action as it produces a one-of-a-kind art print for each person. The shop also offers free entertainment, programs for artists and free or discounted print center services for local artists.
Artist Carl Joe Williams painted a colorful graphic mural on the outside of the building, which also features a small mechanical light sculpture by Rontherin Ratliff. Inside, the kinetic sculpture fills the lobby and there’s an exhibition space featuring rotating exhibits of artworks that incorporate print.
Paper Machine will have monthly free print project days for artists and classes and workshops for the public. The print shop can handle projects including letterpress, silkscreen and digital printing for invitations, postcards, posters, publications and more.
Paper Machine is operated by Antenna and The Southern Letterpress. It is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.