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Paul Villinski: Flight Patterns

March 29 through August 18, 2024

The art of Paul Villinski explores the dynamic aerial realm and various notions of “flight”—literal and metaphorical. A licensed pilot, Villinski gives form to assorted airborne bodies, including butterflies, birds, airplanes and aspiring humans. To create his sculptural work, Villinski enlists a range of found materials: aluminum cans become flocks of patterned butterflies; used knives transform into feathered wings; old vinyl LPs morph into songbirds. These discarded objects are reborn in works that honor their past lives while compounding their identity to address serious subjects such as addiction and environmentalism. A highlight of the exhibition is a scaled-down World War II B25 bomber airplane suspended from the ceiling. In Villinski’s hands, this vessel of destruction is transformed into a vehicle of hope: Instead of bombs it drops food and brings attention to the widespread condition of food scarcity.

about paul villinski

BIO

Born in Maine, Paul Villinski currently lives in upstate New York. Villinski’s work is collected by museums across the United States, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; and Museum of Arts and Design, New York City. Among his many public commissions is Air Chair—a winged wheelchair in Miami International Airport’s permanent collection that hangs in the American Airlines terminal. Villinski has been featured in many publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Artist Statement

After three decades of practice, I’m finally willing to let whatever it is I actually know and care about find form in my work. And, as I grow older, my ideas are increasingly rooted in my childhood. Central to my boyhood—and my work now—are themes of flight, environmental concern and adaptive re-use, community, and addiction and recovery. Although seemingly disparate, in must of my work these are intermingles, united by one or more-or-less constant theme: Transformation. 

I try to practice a “simple alchemy,” attempting to give these cast-off, “worthless” objects surprising new identities, to infuse their stories with new layers of meaning. The beauty that interests me most comes though the struggle to bring thingsfrom a place of loss, poverty, despair, into a new life—to insist on the possibility of transformation. I want to take these humble, damaged, discarded things and find out what they are capable of—what can be with imagination, commitment, risk, labor—with enough love. My work is an exploration of the possible, at the heart of which is hope. 

Exhibition Partners

This exhibition is made possible with the support of:

  • The Meijer Foundation
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation
  • Sculpture and Botanic Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • Michigan Arts and Culture Council, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

HOURS

Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Monday 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday 9 am - 9 pm
Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE

CONTACT US

scheduled grounds maintenance

On Tuesday, April 16, the Treehouse Village and Woodland Boardwalk in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden and the Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden will be closed due to tree removal for the safety of our guests. Thank you for your understanding. 

Garden closures

Please note: The Harvey Lemmen Sculpture Gallery in the Sculpture Park will be closed May 20-21 for scheduled tree work. Thank you for your understanding.

Spring Break Hours

Extended Hours

Enjoy extended spring break hours until 9 pm on April 1-5.

Extended Member Early Hours

Each Sunday from 9-11 am during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and Saturday, April 6, from 8-9 am. 

HOURS

Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE