WEST BRATTLEBORO >> On Sunday, Sept. 11, from 2 to 4 p.m., the public is invited to an artist's reception for Stu Copans' exhibit "Peace, Gratitude & Stones from the River," gracing gallery spaces at All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist through the end of October.

A continuation of Copans' long-term paper-cutting project using the Hebrew Arabic, and English words for "Peace," this year's exhibit includes black, painted, and multilayered papercuts, as well as a number of word paintings exploring the importance of Gratitude as a way of being incompatible with Hatred and War. It also explores flow, the passage of time, and the interaction of water and rocks through an exhibit of stones from a 50-year collection of local and regional river rocks.

About the rocks he has gathered over the years, Copans shares, "Understanding the forces that give rise to the beauty seen in these rocks, both those from Vermont bedrock and those deposited by the flowing ice sheets that only 10,000 years ago stood a mile high over Brattleboro, can help us see present conflicts in a different light and can help us respond to change and conflict in a different way."

Copans first became interested in papercutting through watching his 2-year-old son Benjamin put himself to sleep by playing with paper and scissors. He subsequently joined the Guild of American Papercutters, where he studied and taught. His interest in papercutting broadened when he worked on a student ship for three months, sailing around the world and visiting a variety of cultures where he studied indigenous arts and papercutting traditions. He began his "Shalom" paper-cutting in response to the breakdown of peace-making efforts in the Middle East and is committed to continuing this expression of his highest hopes until a lasting peace is achieved.


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The exhibit is otherwise open for visitors on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon, during Sunday worship and other public events in the building, and by appointment.

Also known as West Village Meeting House, All Souls Church is at 29 South St., across from the West Brattleboro common and fire station. Take the wooded driveway up to the parking area by the church, which is handicap-accessible. For further information, call the church office at 802-254-9377.