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You, Me and a Butterfly

VW Design Studio

You, Me and a Butterfly This project proposes a approximately 9.9’H x 9’W x 4’D mixed-media, abstract sculpture based on a butterfly bursting out of it’s cocoon. The sculpture is interactive as the viewer is encouraged to step within the space between the ornate, mirrored wings to for photos. Reflections of onlookers in the partially mirrored wings allow multiple viewers to participate in the shared interaction. The individual triangles that make up the abstracted wings produce a kaleidoscope effect with their multiple colors, patterns, and mirrors. Some of the individual triangles will also have internal lights that become part of the experience in the evening. The goal of this proposal is to activate a location with a large sculpture for photographs. This abstract sculpture is based on a butterfly that is expanding and thrusting out into space, but allows a viewer to feel safely enveloped within the triangular structures that seem about to take flight. After the intense cocooning that everyone has experienced this past year, this theme creates the feeling of bursting out of the shell into the new world around. Covering parts of the sculpture in mirrors is a safe way to stand within the sculpture while the people look on and are reflected within the shapes...bringing multiple people safely together in the butterfly as one. In some photos there may be both known and unknown people reflected in an image that captures a moment time that unifies everyone involved. The scale and size can be used by all ages and abilities.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 4 ft
  • Medium: Mixed Media
  • Width: 9 ft
  • Year created: 2021
  • Height: 9.9 ft

About VW Design Studio

VW Design Studio is a collaboration of three former colleagues with over 50 years of combined experience. This team of artist, designer, and architect has created a cooperative that has expertise in a wide range of fields. We are looking to incorporate the most important principles of customer engagement from store design into a rich outdoor, public art experience. Together, and separately, we’ve worked on countless projects with architecture firms, construction companies, manufacturers, and clients in creating spaces that can be safely navigated by customers and the general public. Our experience with managing budgets, timelines, materials, and regulations will help us to ensure that the installation will be safe and immersive on a human scale. As the owner of a design studio and a multi-disciplinary artist, I’ve made it a priority to incorporate my past fine arts and corporate worlds together using new techniques and innovative materials. The years since receiving my degree in printmaking and working as a Creative Store Design Manager have brought me the unique opportunity to put my artistic training and corporate experience to work in a wide variety of areas. After teaching at Kent State, working in advertising, and managing retail design teams, I’m currently refocused on teaching and developing VW Design Studio to focus on public art. Through work with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., I’ve been able to both help support public art in Grand Rapids and participate as a public artist. I currently live, teacher, and create art in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Scott Floria - Architectural Designer I’ve worked on many different types of projects and spaces over the past twenty years. From working early on with educational buildings and office spaces, to residential projects, to more recently designing for Meijer. Creating spaces to solve for the client’s needs is always the most satisfying part of the job. Whether the design is an entire space or a specific object, the way the user interacts with the design is the top priority. Brent Wenz- CAD Designer I have been designing a wide variety of projects for almost 20 years. Early in my career I started drafting and design of church spaces. I then found the skills I developed in those positions also translated well to retail spaces. Working for Meijer as an imaging specialist, I focused mainly on wayfinding and interior design and helped develop decor packages supporting design, development, production, and installation. I have continued to manage grocery and retail projects, currently for SpartanNash. I also have used my skills over the years to support community projects such as Design for Good. As a designer, I think it’s important to get involved with projects that support local artists and showcase design skills that create beautiful spaces for people to enjoy.