The Art of Pop-ups

Prototype of ‘Pirate Ship’ on exhibit at Miller Art Museum. Photo by Sally Slattery.

During a recent visit to the Sturgeon Bay Library, I took a stroll through Miller Art Museum’s newest exhibit, Wizards of Pop, featuring the work of New York artists and paper engineers Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.

I wondered if they were using the word ‘engineers’ a bit too liberally (my engineer father designs engines and builds airplanes for heaven’s sake – what can two guys do with paper that compares?).

Turns out you can do a whole heck of a lot – these guys create elaborate, colorful books with complex popups – dinosaurs, ships, a flying Peter Pan, and Ferris wheels. They often choose classic stories – Peter Pan, Cinderella and Star Wars – and highlight famous scenes with pop-up art that would have my father scratching his head. ‘How did they do that?’

The exhibit not only highlights their illustrations and pop-up art, but also what went into creating their books: sketches, prototypes, and page proofs.

‘Pirate Ship’ as it appears in ‘Peter Pan.’ Photo by Sally Slattery.

The exhibit, on display through April 14, also features activity centers throughout the gallery for attendees to create their own pictures and cutouts.

Feb. 15 from 10 am – 12 pm, the Miller Art Museum’s staff will host a free family hands-on activity morning featuring some additional fun activities selected specially for the event.

The Miller Art Museum is located at 107 S. 4th Avenue within the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay. Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted.