WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) – Origami in the Garden is the latest exhibit at the seven acres of gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV). The show will run through Nov. 13 at 901 Amherst St. in Winchester. Based on the Japanese art of folded paper, the origami sculptures are made from metal casting or fabricated sheet metal and are meant to imitate paper origami creations.
Each art piece was designed by Santa Fe, New Mexico artist Kevin Box, first through paper origami and later as a much larger metal replication. For each sculpture, he worked with experts in the field.
His ambition was to create more questions than answers.
“When you have art and a garden together, (you) can contemplate the universe,” he said.
He expects that when people see the show in the garden atmosphere they’ll feel like they’ve truly arrived at the garden like never before.
“Come here and be rewarded by discovering the unexpected,” he said.
The outdoor exhibit was created by Box, 45, and his wife, Jennifer, 49.
He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has a background in graphic design and marketing. He studied bronze casting after college.
She has a teaching degree and was a dancer in New York City for 10 years before committing her time to the origami exhibit.
Box said that each piece takes him about a year from conception in paper form to realization as a metal replication through Box Studios.
Before traveling to Winchester, the couple had their origami art on exhibit in the front yard of their 35 acres in Santa Fe.
Their first exhibition opened at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in 2014, and Origami in the Garden has traveled to 17 botanical gardens and museum venues since then.
The MSV display features 11 installations in the formal gardens and a display of paper origami models and so-called “unfolded” cast aluminum wall hangings in the Glen Burnie House, an MSV news release explains.
Visitors will get to see various pieces like running horses, a flying crane, a paper boat and a Pegasus. They’re created using aluminum, bronze and steel with some sculptures mounted on stone bases, the release said.
“The placement of the sculptures encourages visitors to explore some of the most picturesque locations in the MSV formal gardens,” the release said. “A group of three colorful painted ponies are framed by more than 20 crabapple trees in the Grand Allee, a boat balances nearly 11 feet in the air on metal oars near a spring-fed stream, and a flying crane with a 12-foot wing span graces the entrance to the Asian Garden.”
The tallest sculpture is a 13-foot-tall butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, and the smallest is a 12-inch bronze acorn that weighs 35 pounds and is part of an installation featuring a seven-foot-tall squirrel.
The exhibit in the Glen Burnie House includes intricate origami models of a butterfly, boat, flying crane and a Pegasus created using uncut pieces of paper, the release says. The paper models are complemented by four metal wall hangings that reveal the complex crease patterns and folds hidden beneath the surface of the origami.
Along with works created by Jennifer and Kevin Box, Origami in the Garden features collaborations with world-renowned origami artists Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fui, Beth Johnson, Michael G. LaFosse and Tim Armijo.
The exhibition includes an audio tour of each piece that attendees can enjoy by calling from their cellphones.
Visitors may bring picnics to enjoy on the MSV grounds and purchase ice cream, light snacks and exhibit souvenirs at a pop-up shop in the gardens and in the museum store.
By JOSETTE KEELOR, The Winchester Star
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