Sculptor Michael Velliquette to Represent Dane County at Major International Exhibition

March 30, 2012
Supervisor Scott McDonell, Chair Dane County Board of Supervisors (279-6984) Karen Crossley, Director Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission (266-5915)
County Board


MADISON -- The Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission today announced that Madison sculptor Michael Velliquette was chosen to be one of only eight artists from around the world to take up residency and show work at EUARCA 2012, a component of documenta 13, the 2012 edition of the international exhibition held every five years. Velliquette, 40, was selected by the Commission following an application and peer review process.


“I’m thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity,” Velliquette said. “Creating new work and exhibiting in this context is a great honor, but taking on the role of cultural ambassador for Dane County is just all the more humbling and exciting. It’s something I take seriously, and I will do my best to represent this community well.”


“It was a difficult decision, and we are delighted with our choice,” said Commission Vice Chair Jennifer Post Tyler. “The caliber of the applications was stunning. Dane County should be tremendously proud to have artists of this quality living and working among us.”


“Dane County is a hotbed of modern and contemporary art, and anyone who lives here knows it,” said County Board Chair Scott McDonell. “Our involvement in documenta 13 is a tremendous opportunity to put Dane County arts on the world map, and I’m sure Michael will help us do that.”


Velliquette’s project, entitled Power Structure, will be a 12-foot-tall mixed-media sculpture inspired by “examining notions of power and responsibility as expressed through the built form and in monumental architecture,” such as castles and monuments throughout Hessen, Germany, where the festival takes place, according to Velliquette’s application proposal. He will also open his studio to visitors while he works on the sculpture in order to gain their feedback and “to forge personal bonds between our sister communities,” according to the proposal.


Velliquette earned his MFA at the University of Wisconsin in 2000, and returned to Madison in 2007. In addition to working as an artist, he is a faculty associate at UW and a lecturer at Madison College. He has recently had solo shows at DCKT Contemporary (New York), the David Shelton Gallery (San Antonio), and the John Michael Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan). His museum exhibitions include Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Art and Design (New York); Art on Paper at the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro), Psychedelic at the San Antonio Museum of Art. He was recently included in the books Beasts! Volume 2, published by Fantagraphics, and PaperCraft and Papercraft 2 published by Gestalten. His work is in the collections of The Progressive Corporation; Western Bridge, Seattle; The John Michael Kohler Art Center; The State of Wisconsin; Boston Children’s Hospital and the San Antonio Museum of Art. A catalog chronicling his diverse body of work from the past 10 years titled Michael Velliquette: Lairs of the Unconscious was released in the summer of 2011 through Devibooks Publishers.


Documenta is one of the most important exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in the world. Since 1955, it has taken place every five years in Kassel, Germany. More than 750,000 people visited documenta 12, held in 2007. The next one, documenta 13, will take place from June 9 to September 16, 2012.  In conjunction with documenta 13, the County of Kassel is organizing and hosting an arts camp called EUARCA (European Art Camp). This year, EUARCA will be special, including artists from Europe, plus Velliquette to represent Dane County due to a very generous invitation from the County of Kassel. In a joint venture, the Dane County Board of Supervisors Office and Cultural Affairs Commission present this special grant opportunity.


The cost will be borne by Landkreis Kassel, Dane County’s sister county since 2007.


Velliquette will reside in Espenau, Germany, July 6 - 20, 2012, with a host artist’s family and be provided with studio space.

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