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Paper Airplanes Metal Sculpture by Ed Wilson: Houston Heights Exhibit

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Playing with Paper Airplanes

Viewing this stainless steel sculpture created by artist Ed Wilson by the title of "Folded Plane" took me back to my childhood and paper airplanes. My parents and grandparents first taught my brothers and me how to crimp paper and make them into flying machines.

Paper Airplane Source: By ABF (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Common

Paper Airplane Source: By ABF (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Common

Anyone who’s ever made a paper airplane knows there is something magical about throwing your hopes and dreams into the sky.

— Darren Hupke

Folded Plane

What Ed Wilson calls “Folded Plane” looks like a giant-sized paper airplane that took a steep nosedive headfirst into the ground. Many of my paper airplanes had the same fate! Of course, his is giant-sized in comparison and made out of shiny stainless steel that glistened in the sunshine along Heights Boulevard during the “True North” sculpture exhibit.

Paper Airplanes

Folding pieces of paper and making airplanes out of it is a serious business, not just a child’s play. Were you aware that it dates back centuries? The Wright Brothers studied the aerodynamics of paper airplanes before perfecting the first powered flight of an aircraft. Likewise, people are still considering it today as it relates to space.

Wright Brothers and early airplane Source: By Attributed to Wilbur Wright (1867–1912) and/or Orville Wright (1871–1948). Orville Wright preset the camera and had John T. Daniels squeeze the rub

Wright Brothers and early airplane Source: By Attributed to Wilbur Wright (1867–1912) and/or Orville Wright (1871–1948). Orville Wright preset the camera and had John T. Daniels squeeze the rub

"The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through."

— Orville Wright

Wright Brothers

Orville and Wilbur Wright made history on December 17, 1903, when their first experiment with a heavier than air airplane built by them traveled 120 feet and was airborne for a total of 12 seconds. This history took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. For this historic flight, Orville was the pilot while Wilbur watched from the ground.

I still remember watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon back in 1969 while watching television. For those who did not get to witness it in person during the latter part of the 1960s, here is a video below showing that exciting event.

Just think how times have changed since those early dates regarding flight, and they continually improve as humanity tries to explore the outer reaches of space. Incredibly, paper airplanes inspired much of this!

Artist Ed Wilson

Ed Wilson, who created the “Folded Plane” sculpture is from the baby boomer generation being born in 1953 after World War II.

He grew up in Louisiana and got his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University. Ed Wilson received his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Houston and currently lives and works in Houston.

It is quite possible that he also liked playing with paper airplanes at some point during his life, which inspired this eye-catching sculpture.

Note the blue spike that indicates the post-WWII baby boom, those born between 1946 to 1964. Source: By Nwbeeson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Note the blue spike that indicates the post-WWII baby boom, those born between 1946 to 1964. Source: By Nwbeeson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Exhibitions of Ed Wilson’s Art

He has had numerous solo art exhibitions in Houston, and one each in Dallas and McAllen, Texas. Also, he has had two at different locations in Germany, where some of his work came about after visiting World War II concentration camps.

Ed Wilson has a long resume of being included in group shows in these Texas cities in addition to Houston: San Antonio, Beaumont, Clear Lake, Beeville, Lubbock, Goliad, and Austin. Out of state exhibits include those in New York, Idaho, New Jersey, Oregon, and California. His work was also involved in a group show in Leipzig, Germany.

Ed Wilson’s art exhibit resume will continue to grow as well as articles written about him and the catalogs published showing some of his artistic creations.

Edited photo of the "Folded Plane" by Ed Wilson.

Edited photo of the "Folded Plane" by Ed Wilson.

Art Supplies

Some of Ed Wilson’s works contain scraps of metal salvaged from old cars. Mr. Wilson keeps the environment in mind as he forges new works of art in his Houston studio.

His “Folded Plane” created in 2007 is no longer on view as a part of a sculpture project titled “True North” on the esplanade of Heights Boulevard in Houston, Texas. That installation ended in early November of 2014.

The sculpture “Folded Plane” had a price tag of $12,000. Hopefully, it has found a great home. It is being appreciated by whoever is getting to display it in a new location. It was a great addition to the public art display called “True North,” and those of us who live in Houston or those who may have traveled here got to enjoy it for nine months while it was on display.

Old rusted car, the likes of which Ed Wilson likes to incorporate into his art.

Old rusted car, the likes of which Ed Wilson likes to incorporate into his art.

“True North” Sculptures and Artists

In case you missed it, this is a listing of the other sculptures that were on Heights Boulevard during the “True North” exhibit.

“Cypress Flower” by Lee Littlefield

“Wildlife Sanctuary” by Dan Havel

“Pointing North” (dog sculpture) by Carter Ernst

“From the Hood to the Heights” by Patrick Medrano

“Ourglass” by Dean Ruck

“Lawn Chairs” by Paul Kittelson

“There are things you can’t get from books” by Steve Murphy

Sources

  • https://www.edwilsonart.com
  • https://www.redbudgallery.com/true-north
  • https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/glidpaper.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomers

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods