ArtPrize entry makes statement on endangered species, vulnerability


The exhibition “inDanger: A Taxigami Decaptych” merges origami and taxidermy to raise awareness and inspire action.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Instead of Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts ArtPrize, an exhibit of 10 works of art made from paper and dried plants makes a statement about vulnerable populations.

Called “inDanger: A Taxigami Decaptych”, the work features origami animals that represent endangered or threatened species, including elephants, leatherback turtles and blue whales. A play also highlights the experience and struggles of black women.

For artist Aerick Burton, the message behind the art stems from environmental awareness and the need to help others in need.

“It focuses on endangerment and vulnerability, and on how we as humans not only have the capacity to help support and uplift these vulnerable lives, but we also have the responsibility as we can, ”said Burton. “I often feel like some species or certain lives are just seen as less important, and it’s just my way of honoring and uplifting those vulnerable lives.”

Composed of locally sourced paper, preserved moss and dried flowers, the work merges taxidermy and origami. Burton says that while he takes inspiration from other origami artists, many of his designs are his. They are often made from a single sheet of paper and take “a few months” to complete.

While part of Burton’s intention is to raise awareness, he hopes his work inspires viewers to take action.

“While the first step is always awareness, awareness without action is not enough,” Burton wrote in his artistic profile. “So as I hope this series creates awareness and helps evoke empathy within its audience, my greatest hope is that these pieces become a catalyst for action and create tangible support for these lives. vulnerable. “

This is Burton’s second time attending ArtPrize, his first being in 2018. He says it’s a “whole new experience” that he enjoyed.

“There are a lot of things that are very different from before, but it’s great,” said Burton. “The place I have is amazing. It has been a great experience to be able to see people, old friends, meet new people and really show my art to the world.”

If you would like to learn more about “inDanger: A Taxigami Decaptych”, visit the Aerick website, which provides detailed information on each part. The artwork can also be viewed in person at Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts. It is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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