Partnership rolls out UWSP RiverPoint Paper nationwide

Partnership rolls out UWSP RiverPoint Paper nationwide
For Stevens Point Journal Media 11:04 p.m. CDT August 7, 2014
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Bob Erickson of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, from left, shares student artwork designs with Matt Meszaros and Jeanette Gile of Strathmore Artist Papers. Two student designs were chosen for the covers of Strathmore paper packs.(Photo: Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point )
STEVENS POINT – What started as a collaboration between departments at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has expanded to a partnership with a major national supplier of high-quality art papers.
RiverPoint Paper is now being marketed by Strathmore Artist Papers. The Strathmore brand of artist papers has been used to create art for more than 120 years.
“The agreement brings a new range of fine art papers to market and provides an additional revenue source for several Wisconsin companies,” said Paul Fowler, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology. WIST had been involved in the development and marketing of the paper along with other UWSP departments.
“The stars aligned,” Fowler said. “A private company from Wisconsin came to us. They saw an unmet market need for great-value, high-quality paper. We were able to meet the need, not competing, but facilitating.”
Strathmore is a division of Pacon Corp. in Appleton. Pacon is a leading producer and marketer of paper products for education, including construction paper and other teacher resources.
Strathmore representatives contacted WIST last winter, inquiring about collaborating on two additional grades of printmaking art paper. Gerry Ring, retired Paper Science and Engineering Department chair, narrowed a list of pulps in various fiber types, then worked with Strathmore and UWSP colleagues to develop the new grades of non-cotton paper.
“They liked the fact that they didn’t have to put the money upfront developing it,” Fowler said. WIST focuses on research and development of sustainable products and processes, working with industries to bring them to market. Fowler sees it as a pump-priming role.
The original RiverPoint paper is branded as 500 Series RiverPoint Cotton Printmaking and will continue to be made exclusively at UWSP on its paper machine. It anchors the new line of printmaking papers from Strathmore Artist Papers. The new grades, Strathmore 300 Series Lightweight and 400 Series Heavyweight, are made by a Wisconsin paper mill.
“Anytime new grades of paper are manufactured in Wisconsin, paper mill jobs are retained or created,” Fowler said. “We wanted to ensure this was a Wisconsin story.”
A $1.45 million UW-System Economic Development Incentive Grant made this possible, he said. It funded enhancements to the pilot paper machine for specialty paper and packaging and included the development of two additional grades of paper.
UWSP will receive royalties on paper sold during the next five years, which will be reinvested in educational programs and infrastructure. UWSP will continue to make its cotton fiber grade of RiverPoint Paper for student use on campus as part of the agreement.
RiverPoint Paper was born after UWSP Art and Design Professor Bob Erickson asked Paper Science and Engineering colleagues if they could make fine art paper. The Paper Science and Engineering Department is home to the world’s fastest student-run pilot paper machine.
His goal was to create a high-quality archival art paper at an economical cost for students. At the time they were paying about $5 per sheet for a French cotton fiber paper.
Art faculty provided paper samples and described what they needed. WIST and Paper Science and Engineering produced paper in small trial runs, which art students and faculty tested for quality and performance with various media. After several tries, an art paper was created that met needs for performance, texture and strength specifically for printmaking.
RiverPoint Paper was so well received by UWSP art students and faculty that WIST began making it available more widely in 2013. Interest in the new paper led to a collaboration with Strathmore Artist Papers to market and distribute RiverPoint and to develop the additional grades of paper.
UWSP art and design students provided artwork for consideration as the cover of the Strathmore papers. Strathmore representatives selected art by UWSP student Lanea Zagrezebski of Rudolph for the 300 Series pads. Art on the 500 Series is by UWSP graduate Shawn Ganther. Their names and UWSP are credited on every retail pack.
“It’s a true partnership,” Fowler said.
Strathmore will market the paper throughout North America and the complete line of printmaking papers will be available at fine art and craft stores and chains to meet growing interest in making prints.
Four Feet Under


Congratulations to Art 398 section 21 on completing the sculpture outside of Albertson Hall on the UW-Stevens Point campus. The piece entitled Four Feet Under is currently on display and stands 16ft tall and spans 12ft across. The "I" beams are made of Newburyport Cabot blue-stained Pine 2"x12" boards and weigh up to 240 pounds.

Visiting Artist: Rebecca Arday from the Pilchuck Glass School
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Rebecca Arday, glass artist
and Education Programming admisistrator at Pilchuck Glass School has joined us as a visiting artist for the next two weeks, funded by the student organization SCULPT. She  is currently making work in the glass studios and is working with students in hot glass and kiln cast glass. She will be giving two public demonstrations on pate de verre glass casting. Students of 355 will be making a piece with her on September 19th, 8am-10:30am in room 197, sculpture studio, and a public demonstration next Thursday, September 26th,  7pm-9:30pm in the same room.
Check out her work--Rebecca's website:
Larson Awarded Scholarship by Chinese Government

Recent graduate Ellen Larson stated in a recent email:

​"I was awarded a graduate degree program scholarship from the Chinese government to pursue my graduate studies at Minzu University of China. I plan to earn my M.A. studying modern Chinese history. This Chinese Government Scholarship includes three years of full funding for the M.A. program, exemption from tuition and registration, and lab and practicum fees, and basic textbook costs, and includes free on-campus accommodations. In addition the scholarship includes a living stipend of 1,700 CNY/month, a one-time relocation subsidy of 1,500 CNY, and Chinese medical insurance.

Minzu awarded 32 scholarships to students who applied from all over the world. I was one of two American students selected for this scholarship."
Congratulations to Ellen on this achievement!
UW-Stevens Point archival art paper for sale

Channel 7 WSAW Page Content

By Leah Krause
River Point art paper is produced at UW-Stevens Point. It was developed in collaboration with the Department of Art & Design, Department of Paper Science & Engineering and Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology. The goal was a high-quality archival art paper that was also affordable for students and faculty in the arts department.
The project was made possible with UWSP's student-run paper machine -- the fastest in the nation.
It took about four test runs to get the paper "just perfect" and is now available for order.

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