Peace Paper Legacy: Papermaking at UF Health

photo courtesy of Joe Richard
Veteran papermaking workshop at UF Wilmot Gardens

In celebration of National Arts + Health month last November, Arts in Medicine hosted Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan of Peace Paper Project.  The weeklong residency included a documentary screening, art exhibitions, educational presentations and three days of hands on papermaking workshops throughout the Gainesville community.  Veterans from the VA Mental Health Intensive Case Management group explored papermaking techniques utilizing fibers from cut-up military uniforms.

Margaret Mahan helps pediatric patient create paper from hospital gown
Margaret Mahan helps pediatric patient create paper from hospital gown

Healthcare professionals learned about the therapeutic benefits of papermaking in an educational series co-presented by AIM Art Therapist Amy Bucciarelli. Patients, families and staff of UF& Shands used fibers commonly found in the medical setting such as hospital gowns, masks and blankets to create their handmade paper. The residency was made possible through the coordination of local papermaker Amy Richard with financial support from Satchel’s Pizza, UF Smathers Libraries Special Collections, Vets for Peace and private donors.


Peace Paper inspired “Transfiguration: Making Peace with our Bodies“, a positive body image project created for patients of the UF Health Eating Disorder Recover Center (EDRC).  EDRC art therapist Genevieve Camp, M.A., ATR-BC explains the collaboration in this video:


Projects were also featured in an recent article in Hand Papermaking Magazine.

In October, Amy Bucciarelli was the visiting artist for the Arts in Medicine Creative for Health, a workshop hosted by Dylan Klempner and the Livestrong Foundation for people affected by cancer. Community member, caregivers, and patients participated in cutting hospital gowns, papermaking, and “activating” the paper with paints as they experienced the power of community and healing.

Art Therapists Bucciarelli and Camp taught a master class at 2013 Expressive Therapies Summit this November in New York.  The full day workshop was held at Dieu Donne, one of country’s most prestigious papermaking studios. Twenty-four papermakers, artists, art therapists and interns joined them to make paper from hospital gowns and “skinny jeans”. It was a magical day of papermaking complete with a Skype “visit” from Peace Paper’s very own Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan!

Thanks to the UF Medical Guild! Their support and generosity through a Medical Guild grant was awarded to Amy Bucciarelli and Shands Arts in Medicine in November to continue papermaking at UF Health. The new project “Handpapermaking for Healing” will focus on best-practice for bedside papermaking. We will be the first in the world to embark on this journey!

Learn more about Peace Paper Project at