Michael Velliquette: Assistant professor of foundations, Art Department, School of Education

Website: www.velliquette.com

Instagram: @michaelvelliquette

Hometown: Bradenton, Florida

Educational/professional background: MFA UW–Madison, 2000; BFA Florida State University, 1993

What is your field of research, and how did you get into it? I’m a mixed media sculptor and have been working as a studio artist for over twenty years. The focus of my recent research has been in the paper arts, which includes techniques and processes where artists create a range of things with various paper stocks and types. Folks may recognize some of the art forms such as origami, quilling, papier mâché and paper cutting. In my own work, I construct elaborate sculptures akin to three-dimensional mandalas. Folks have also remarked that they look like fantastic machines or models for imaginary architecture. The core of this research is developing innovative ways to push this humble and ubiquitous material.

What attracted you to UW–Madison? I first came to Madison as a graduate student in the late 90s and sought out the Art Department for the variety of art media and areas they offered, as well as for the opportunity to work inter-disciplinarily. I later returned to Madison in the early aughts to teach a summer course and met my husband, Tehshik Yoon, who is a professor in the Chemistry Department. So, I’ve had the opportunity to teach at the university for several years already. What keeps me excited to be here is the stellar research being done by my colleagues in the Art Department as well as by our graduate students.