Shannon Manning: Master Paper Sculptor

There is not going to be anything objective about today’s post. 

My subject is Shannon Manning, a Kansas City artist whose work has been inspiring me since about 2004 or 2005, when I first saw it at The Heritage Gallery in Prairie Village, KS.  I was in the early stages of developing my own paper sculptures, and when I first saw his work I was totally blown away.

I had a chance to see Endangered and meet Shannon in person, at the “State of the Arts” show in Prairie Village last October.

I’ve been seeing his work turn up around town during the past few years, but I’d always missed the opportunity to meet him until last fall at the State of the Arts show in Prairie Village. He is an extremely nice man, in addition to having mad skills in paper sculpture!  Here is a small collection of his work to give you a sample, presented with his permission:

As in this piece, 219 N. Delaware, the detail in Manning’s work always astounds me.
I love the visual rhythm of the wings and the exquisite feather effects in Hill and Pond.
Penny Crusher is another example of Manning’s mastery of detail.
Manning handles a variety of textures with great skill in Instant Report.
In Ezra’s Sunday, Manning juxtaposes mechanical and natural forms–and renders both equally well. His technique makes me deeply envious, but in a good way!
As Sanctuary clearly shows, Manning and I share the super-power of being able to fold rocks! I love the way he handles the snow as an accenting mechanism in this piece.

I deeply appreciate having had the chance to share Manning’s art with you.  I hope you have enjoyed looking at a small sample of the work that has been such an inspiration to me over the past decade.

IMAGE CREDITS: Shannon Manning very kindly gave me permission to post images from his website for this article.  PLEASE DO NOT RE-POST WITHOUT MANNING’S PERMISSION! You can view many more of his wonderful works on his online gallery. Individual source pages for the images I chose to post here are: Endangered; 219 N. Delaware; Hill and Pond; Penny Crusher; Instant Report; Ezra’s Sunday; and Sanctuary.  

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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