Image URLs and caption information are listed at the end of this release.
WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: Elegant origami artworks and intricately cut
paper sculptures are featured in two
exhibitions on view January 26 through
April 7 at the Woodson Art Museum.
“Folding Paper: The Infinite
Possibilities of Origami” comprises more
than 100 works by forty artists from
thirteen countries and celebrates the
art form’s history, modern influence on
math and science, and power to cross
cultural and socio-economic boundaries.
In “Calvin Nicholls: Paper
Sculpture by Design,” a Canadian
artist’s eye-popping three-dimensional
cut-paper sculptures demonstrate a
mastery of technique that uses little
more than paper to yield stunningly
For both Nicholls and origami
artists, paper is a medium for infinite
creativity, and Museum visitors have an
array of opportunities to participate.
On opening day, a Wisconsin origami
artist leads visitors in creating paper
cranes for a community artwork project
during Origami Fold Out, Saturday,
January 26, Noon-5 pm. This year’s snow
sculpture carved by Team USA Snow
Sculptors, February 1-2, is inspired by
Nicholls’ paper sculpture of a tree
frog. Nicholls leads student groups and
public programs during his Woodson Art
Museum residency, March 5-9. Visit
www.lywam.org for a complete listing of
events and programs.
“Folding Paper” traces
origami’s history, rooted in a rich
Japanese and European tradition of paper
folding, through its
mid-twentieth-century rise from
classroom craft to a sophisticated art
form, and explores its modern-day
influence on technology, design, and the
global peace movement.
Origami artwork on view
includes breathtaking, abstract
depictions of fantastical creatures made
possible through wet-folding, crumpled,
and pleated paper techniques as well as
complex geometric, modular pieces
created by artists who also are
mathematicians pioneering a range of
technological discoveries and
“Folding Paper” reveals vast
possibilities inherent in origami and
how it inspires aesthetically pleasing
and cutting-edge advances in
engineering, architecture, and fashion
as well as innovations in space and
medical technology. Origami-inspired
practical applications include
collapsible, space-saving inventions for
aeronautic, package, and building
design. Origami, mathematics, science,
and design have become increasingly
interconnected. Teachers use origami to
explain arithmetic and geometry, and
computational origami employs algorithms
and theory to solve complex problems.
Airbag logistics, space telescope
lenses, heart stents, and cell phone and
architectural design are based on
origami principles. “Folding Paper”
artist Dr. Robert Lang, for example, is
a scientist and mathematician who used
computational origami to determine how
to fold an enormous telescope lens like
a furled umbrella so it could be
launched compactly and then re-opened in
The most famous of traditional
origami forms – the crane – has become
associated with long life and peace.
Today, origami spans cultures thanks to
internationally recognized paper-folding
notations of numbers and arrows that
enable people worldwide to follow
directions to create forms and
contribute to collaborative public
projects. All ages are invited to fold
origami cranes to add to a community art
project, Flock to Fold, which remains on
view through April 7. The folded animal
shapes that introduce many children to
origami will be featured in Art Park,
the Museum’s interactive family gallery,
where all ages can explore the art of
cut-paper sculptures that seem to burst
from the confines of framed mats begin
with careful study of an animal’s
musculoskeletal features. After
determining the animal’s body shape and
underlying structure, Nicholls uses
scalpels and leather-working tools to
slice heavy paper into pieces that he
shapes and glues together. “Creating an
illusion of depth in a paper sculpture
that becomes a conversation piece is my
reward,” said Nicholls, whose career
spans more two decades. During his
five-day residency, “Paper Cuts,”
Nicholls leads programs for school
children during Museum visits, a
workshop for all ages, a program for
individuals with blindness or low
vision, and a gallery walk.
“Paper Cuts” funding comes from
a Community Arts Grant from the
Community Foundation of North Central
Wisconsin, with funds from the Wisconsin
Arts Board, Community Foundation, and
the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.
This project also is supported in part
by a Challenge America Grant from the
National Endowment of the Arts and a
grant from Target.
“Paper Sculpture by Design” is
drawn from the collection of Follett
Library Resources, McHenry, Illinois.
Follett Library Resources is a part of
the Follett Corporation a provider of
products, services, and solutions to the
“Folding Paper” was curated by
Meher McArthur, and the tour organized
by the Japanese American National
Museum, Los Angeles, and International
Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The
exhibition was generously supported by
the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter
URL Links to images and caption
Folding Paper: The Infinite
Possibilities of Origami
Giang Dinh, Fly,
2010, watercolor paper. Photo © Giang Dinh.
Bernie Peyton, Frog on a Leaf,
2007, (leaf) Fabriano backed with Mango;
(frog) backcoated Shikibu Gampi Shi, (armature) wood, acrylic, nylon thread, magnets. Photo © Susanne Tilney.
Richard Sweeney, 03M (Partial Shell),
2010, watercolor paper, wet folded.
Photo © Richard Sweeney.
Paulo Mulatinho, Planta,
2011, shin-danshi Japanese paper. Photo ©
Michael G. LaFosse, Frog,
2003, Origamido® paper with abaca fiber and
powdered mica, handmade by the artist. Photo © Mingei International Museum,
Gift of V’Ann Cornelius.
Eric Joisel, Mask,
1999, paper, folded wet and coated, on wire. Photo © Mingei International Museum, Gift of V’Ann Cornelius.
Calvin Nicholls: Paper Sculpture by Design
Calvin Nicholls, Tree Frog
1999, paper sculpture, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Calvin Nicholls, Beaver,
2001, paper sculpture, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Calvin Nicholls, Lynx,
2004, sculpture, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Calvin Nicholls, Hedgehog,
2004, paper sculpture, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Calvin Nicholls, Panda,
2004, paper sculpture and pastille, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Calvin Nicholls, Hummingbird,
2002, paper sculpture, on loan from the collection of Follett Library Resources, Inc.
Woodson Art Museum
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First Thursday of each month 9:00 am –
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Closed Monday and holidays, including
Always Free Admission
Franklin and 12th
Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. 12th Street)