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.
Velliquette redefines the unassuming nature of paper by constructing objects that convey strength, intent, and durability, but which also require conscious observation and care. 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. Cut exclusively and assembled by hand, Velliquette’s works can take up to 500 hours to complete.
In his recent series of paper cuts, composed of single sheets of paper, carefully sliced and folded, the artist emphasizes the physics of light, and the way a simple fold, lifted at a variety of angles from the surface, reveals myriad shadows, forms, and openings. Like his larger constructions, the paper cut works retain a mandala-like quality, as if carved in relief on a panel of a door or a box. Where the more built-up sculptures capitalize on the material’s strength, flexibility, and capacity to be easily molded, the paper cuts are pared down, vulnerable, fleshy in comparison. Thus we are invited to consider the surface and material thinness of the paper itself, where every detail of every incision is distinguishable, and there’s little telling what mysteries lie beyond.
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 will be 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 on faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches courses in visual literacy and creative practice. He also teaches workshops on his techniques and the paper arts including a 2019 course at the Haystack Mountain School of Craft as well an upcoming 2021 online course through 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.
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, email@example.com.
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
2020 Creations are Numberless, I Vow To Free Them, David Shelton Gallery, Houston
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
2020 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
2015 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
2013 Curiosities and Things of Wonder, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI
2012 Animal Nature, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
2011 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
2009 Slash: Paper Under the Knife, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
2008 Troglodytes See Better in the Dark, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL
2007 Ornament, Bravin Lee Programs, New York, NY
2006 Boys and Flowers, Western Bridge, Seattle, WA
2005 With Us Against Reality, Galerie S.E., Bergen, Norway
2003 We Are Electric Deitch, Projects, New York, NY
2021 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
2021 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
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
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
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
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
San Antonio, Texas
Los Angeles, California
Articles, Essays & Reviews
- 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.