Michael Velliquette (American b. 1971) is an artist who makes intricately constructed paper-based sculpture. Velliquette makes use of a humble, everyday material to open a view into imagined worlds.
In using an innately delicate everyday material, Michael Velliquette’s paper sculptures convey strength, intent, and durability in which temporality and perpetuity coexist. The visual experience of these works is of a sense of confident robustness, even grandiosity, yet it is underscored by the knowledge that they are lightweight and prone to damage, highlighting a unique duality. They are at once abstract layers and shapes made from colored paper, and also structures that from one moment to the next suggest fortress-like constructions, tiered mandalas, or complex mechanical gears.
Velliquette challenges the unassuming nature of paper by creating pieces that appear dimensional, elaborate, and timeless, yet we know the material they are made from is susceptible to exposure to moisture, sunlight, fire, or the smallest pressure or fold, and requires conscious observation and care. Cut exclusively and assembled by hand, Velliquette’s works can take hundreds of hours to complete.
Velliquette’s process of making these works could be considered a meditative exercise, in a sense, as the sculpture comes together bit by bit, utilizing a range of simple tools. Through a meticulous and intuitive process of measuring, cutting, and assembling pieces of colored paper into complex structures and geometric systems, a simple material is imbued with the power to transfix. Art becomes a place where the present and permanence intersect. Some motifs seem almost elemental in their use across time, cultures, and geography.
A working artist for 20 years, Michael Velliquette has participated in over 150 exhibitions in museums and galleries in the US, Europe and Asia. His work is in the permanent collections of the Chazen Museum of Art; the Art Museum of South Texas; the Racine Art Museum; The Progressive Corporation; The West Bend Insurance Collection; The Abroms-Engels Institute for the Visual Arts; The Linda Pace Foundation; Boston Children's Hospital; The Pratt Institute Libraries; The John Michael Kohler Art Center; and The Microsoft Collection.
He has participated in residencies and cultural exchange programs including the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence; the SIM Residency, Reykjavik; the John Michael Kohler Art/Industry program; and EUARCA, Kassel, Germany.
In 2021 he was an artist resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
He received his BFA from the Florida State University-1993, and his MA & MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison-2000.
As an educator Velliquette is an Assistant Professor of Foundations in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches courses in visual literacy and creative practice. He also teaches workshops on the paper arts and was recently a visiting instructor at the Haystack Mountain School of Craft and the Pocosin School of Fine Craft.
He is member of the Guild of American Papercutters and the Paper Artist Collective—a global community of artists and designers dedicated to the medium of paper.
Velliquette appeared as a guest judge on the Discovery Network's reality craft competition series "Meet Your Makers Showdown", alongside Mark Montano, LeAnn Rimes and Chrissy Metz for the "Paper Art Battle" episode which aired December 2021.
His work has been featured in numerous print and online publications including Colossal, Time Out New York and The New York Times. He has been included in several compendiums on paper art produced by such publishers as Thames & Hudson, Gestalten, Sandu, Lark Crafts, Hightone Books.
Two color monographs are available on his work titled Michael Velliquette: Lairs of the Unconscious (2012) and Michael Velliquette: What We Are Looking For is What is Looking (2017).
He lives in Madison, WI with his husband Tehshik Yoon, a professor of organic chemistry.
A full CV available is by request, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2000 Master of Fine Arts, The University of Wisconsin-Madison
1999 Master of Arts, The University of Wisconsin-Madison
1993 Bachelor of Fine Arts, The Florida State University
Assistant Professor of Foundations
Art Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2023 The Direct Path, The Contemporary at Blue Star, San Antonio, TX
2022 The Song I Came To Sing, Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2020 Creations are Numberless, David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX
2017 Beginner’s Mind, Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2015 The Desire for Being, AEIVA, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
2014 Serpent Worship, David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX
2013 Their Arising and Passing Away, DCKT Contemporary, New York
2013 Into the Great Wide Awesome, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI
2012 In Spaces and Other Places, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
2012 Awaken and Free What Has Been Asleep, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY
2009 Abundant Creatures, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY
2007 Intuitive Jungle, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY
2005 Still Lives of Saints, Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA
2004 You in the I, Artpace, San Antonio, TX
2020 Pinney Library, Madison Public Library Foundation, Madison, WI
2015 PS320Q Elementary School, NYCSCA, Ridgewood, Queens, NY
2010 Goodman Library, Madison Public Library Foundation, Madison, WI
2023 Embodied Looking // Embodied Making, Young Memorial Library, Whitewater, WI
Recent Art Fairs
2021 Art on Paper, Duane Reed Gallery, Pier 36, New York, NY
The Possibilities of Paper, Torggler Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA
Moments of Transformation, Morgan Conservancy Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Vignettes: Concentrated Views of RAM’s Collection, RAM, Racine, WI
Where Present and Permanence Intersect, Kinzelman Consulting, Houston, TX
Fascination Paper, Gustav Lübke Museum, Hamm, Germany
Paper Cuts, Woodstock Arts, The Reeves House, Woodstock, GA
Paper Duets, Gallery Art.Motif, Delhi Art Week, Dehli, India
Cheongju Craft Biennale, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea
In Residence, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX
Michael Velliquette, Gary Gissler, Mary Heilman, The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI
The Art of Mending, The Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME
Cut, Fold and Handmade, Peninsula Arts Center, Newport News, VA
Pulp+Process, Society of Arts + Crafts, Boston, MA
Art on Paper Fair, Cinders Gallery, New York, NY
Paper Trail, ABV Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Paper: Medium and Message, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA
Wisconsin Artists Biennial, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI
Serpentiform, organized by Bulgari, Mori Arts Center, Tokyo, Japan
Serpentiform, organized by Bulgari, Art Science Museum, Singapore
Super Natural, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
Serpentiform, organized by Bulgari, Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy
Paper and Blade, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
Cut, Fold, and Form, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Cut/Create: The Endless Possibilities of Paper, UW-Milwaukee, WI
The Stench of Rotting Flowers, Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, MO
Pressed Flowers, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
Hoarding, Amassing, and Excess, Northern Illinois University Museum, Dekalb, IL
Curiosities and Things of Wonder, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI
Animal Nature, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Paperwork in 3D, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT
Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum Greensboro, NC
Wisconsin Triennial, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960's, San Antonio Museum of Art, TX
Slash: Paper Under the Knife, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
Troglodytes See Better in the Dark, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
Ornament, Bravin Lee Programs, New York, NY
Boys and Flowers, Western Bridge, Seattle, WA
With Us Against Reality, Galerie S.E., Bergen, Norway
We Are Electric Deitch, Projects, New York, NY
Television and Media Appearances
Expert Guest Judge, Episode 4 "Paper Art Battle!", Meet Your Makers Showdown, discovery+ streaming service, Michael Levitt Productions
2023 Kloster Dornach, Basel, Switzerland
2022 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2021 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
2012 EUARCA+2012, Kassel, Germany
2011 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2009 John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency, Kohler, WI
2008 SÍM Artist Residency, Reykjavik, Iceland
2008 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2007 Millay Colony for the Arts Austerlitz, New York
2004 Artpace International Artist-In-Residence Program, San Antonio, TX
Grants and Awards
2023 Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award, UW-Madison, Division of Arts
2022 Vermont Studio Center Full Fellowship
2012 Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission
2011 Vermont Studio Center Full Fellowship
2010 Madison Arts Commission Grant
2010 Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission
2008 Pleasant T. Rowland Fellowship
2007 Bay and Paul Foundations Fellow
2005 Dozier Travel Grant Recipient Dallas Museum of Art
Lectures and Workshops
2023 UW Art Department Faculty
2021 The Pixel Show Conference, Online, São Paulo, Brazil
2021 University of Arkansas
2020 Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft
2019 University of North Texas
2019 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
2018 Maharishi University
2017 Spence School
2016 John Michael Kohler Art Center
2015 Exchange Works Los Angeles
2015 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2015 University of Alabama-Birmingham
2014 Carnegie Mellon University
2013 Museum of Wisconsin Art
2013 Rhodes College, Memphis
2013 Georgia Southern University
2012 Ripon College
2011 Shelburne Museum of Art
2010 Texas State University, San Marcos
2007 Beloit College
2006 McNay Art Museum
Chazen Museum of Art
Art Museum of South Texas
Racine Art Museum
Museum of Wisconsin Art
Western Bridge Collection
Linda Pace Foundation
San Antonio Museum of Art
John Michael Kohler Art Center
Microsoft Art Collection
Grande Cheese Company
Alabama Power Company
West Bend Insurance
San Antonio Health Systems
The Progressive Art Collection
First Western Trust Bank LA
San Antonio Grand Hyatt
Boston Children’s Hospital
University and State Collections
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Art
Madison Public Library
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Bexar County Courthouse
New York, New York
St. Louis, Missouri
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
San Antonio, Texas
Los Angeles, California
- Lawrence, Gabrielle, “Gears and Architectural Structures Emerge from Michael Velliquette’s Meditative Paper Sculptures”, Colossal, July 2022.
- Video review, "Alessandro Gallo and Michael Velliquette at Duane Reed Gallery", HEC-TV, Youtube, May 2022.
- Inveiss, Maija, “Monochrome Magic”, Madison Magazine, pp. 24-27, May Issue, 2022.
- Artist profile, Design & Paper, “Paper Artist Michael Velliquette’s Ambiguous Work Pushes the Boundaries of Paper Art”, February, 2022.
- Artist profile, Trendy Art Ideas, “Artist makes intricately constructed paper based sculpture”, January, 2022.
- Worland, Gayle. "From art gallery to reality TV: Madison artist helps judge the competition", Wisconsin State Jounral, Arts and Culture, December 11, 2021.
- Exhibition Catalog, Tools for Conviviality: Cheongju Craft Biennale 2021, "Michael Velliquette", pp. 80-83.
- Bosciani, Lucia. Serpentiform: Art, Jewelry, Design. Exhibition Catalog. “Michael Velliquette” pp.54-61. Published by Bulgari, 2017.
- Bahadur, Tulika Inez. “Magnifying Our Impulse for Adornment: Paper Sculptures by Michael Velliquette”, On Art and Aesthetics, May 9, 2017.
- "Interview with Vibrant Sculptural Paper Artist Michael Velliquette", Strictly Paper, September 22, 2016.
- Adams, James. “30 Creative Paper Artworks—When Paper Said 1000 Words”, Desginzzz, April 26, 2016.
- Cook, Greg. “The Delicate, Dazzling Art of Paper Cuts”, The Artery, 90.9 WBUR, Boston, April 25, 2016.
- McLaughlin, Beth. “Paper & Blade: Modern Paper Cutting at Fuller Craft Museum”, Fiber Art Now, Vol 5, Issue 3, Spring 2016: pp. 18-20.
- Barry, Ramona & Jobson, Rebecca. The Handmade Life: A Companion to Modern Crafting, Thames and Hudson Australia, 2015: p. 350..
- “Thirty-Five Paper Sculptors You Need To Know” MIJLO, October 20, 2014.
- Paper Secret 1 & 2, Hightone Books, China, 2014: pp. 354-365..
- Paper Play, Sandu Publishing, China, 2014: pp. 74-75.
- Hong-Porretta, Souris, Ed. Outside the Lines: An Artist’s Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations, Perigee Trade, 2013.
- le Poole, Jaap. “Abundant Michael Velliquette” Color Objects, July 14, 2013.
- McHugh, Gene, Juror. 500 Paper Objects: New Directions in Paper Art, Lark Crafts, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2013: pp: 10, 42, 253, 372.
- Yuan (Yannick), Jianung, Ed. Paradise of Paper Art, Designerbooks, Beijing, China, 2013: pp. 131-140.
- Zimmer, Lori. “Michael Velliquette Transforms Cut Paper into Sculptural Human Forms” Inhabit Magazine November 23 2012.
- Sommerlade, Martina. “Ein bisschen wie dee documenta” HNA Kassel July 7 2012.
- Zimmer, Lori. “Michael Velliquette Transforms Paper into Colorful Textured Sculptures” Inhabit Magazine April 10 2012.
- Worland, Gayle. “Madison Artist selected for elite contemporary art festival in Europe” Wisconsin State Journal Mar 29 2012.
- Lark Crafts, Ed. Push Paper. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2011: pp. 66-71.
- Slanted, Ed. FRESH Cutting Edge Illustrations Boxed Set: FRESH 1-OBJECT. Karslruhe, Germany: Magma Brand Design, 2011: pp. 108,111-112.
- Laster, Paul. “Michael Velliquette, Awaken and Free What Has Been Asleep : Magical is more than just an adjective in this show” Time Out New York 27 Apr. 2011.
- Klanten, R., Meyer, B Eds. Papercraft 2: Design and Art with Paper. Berlin: Gestalten, 2011: pp.46-47.
- Amir. “Michael Velliquette’s Cut Color Exploration” Beautiful Decay Culture of the Creative Arts 28, Mar. 2011.
- Harris, Jane. “Slash: Paper Under the Knife” Time Out New York Issue 746 14–20 Jan. 2010.
- Rosenberg, Karen. “Art Review, Move Over, Humble Doily: Paper Does a Star Turn” New York Times 19 Oct. 2009.
- “Best in Mixed Media: Michael Velliquette Abundant Creatures” Time Out New York 27 May, 2009.
- Cotter, Holland. “We Are Electric at Deitch Projects” The New York Times: Art Guide 19 Dec. 2003.