Master Origami Artist Leads Presentation & Gallery Walk on Saturday, Feb. 22

Wausau, Wisconsin: The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum will receive a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant to support renowned origami artist Robert J. Lang’s residency at the Museum, February 22-23.

Lang, a laser physicist-turned artist, developed some of the most complex origami designs ever created and his artwork is in all three origami exhibitions on view through Sunday, March 1 at the Woodson Art Museum. During “Return to the Fold,” Lang’s residency, he’ll share insights through a presentation, gallery walk, and two workshops, February 22-23; get details via this PDF and press release.

The Woodson Art Museum is one of 145 Challenge America grants, the NEA announced in a January 15 press release. Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects across the country.

Lang’s origami artwork exemplifies how applying math and computer programming to origami revolutionized this ancient art form. In addition to leading public programs during his Woodson Art  Museum residency, Lang works with area educators, exploring the principles of STEAM education – integrating science, technology, engineering, ART, and math – expressed in the origami artwork on view. A grant from the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation also supports the Robert J. Lang artist residency.

The Challenge America funding category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Robert J. Lang artist residency at the Woodson Art Museum.”

The three origami exhibitions that remain on view through Sunday, March 1 and each include Lang’s artwork, highlight striking, soaring three-dimensional sculpture transformed from two-dimensional paper.

Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami comprises artwork by nine international master folders.

FaunaFold features origami insects, birds, and beasts by Robert J. Lang, considered one of the world’s leading origami artists.

Alchemy Unfolding captures the delicate nature of paper folding in five metal sculptures by Kevin Box – three with collaborators Robert J. Lang and Michael G. LaFosse – symbolizing the design potential inherent in every blank page.

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

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