Friday, February 17, 2017

Origami Exhibition at Artis-Naples and Naples Botanical Garden

Baker Museum, Artis-Naples: “Origami Inside Out” 

October 19, 2016 - April 23, 2017

Flight of Folds at entrance to the Baker Museum

Flight of Folds close-up

There are 2 cranes in this sculpture. One is simplistic, and the other is very complicated. The sculpture represents the history and progression of the origami tradition.

Butterfly Wall Art

Origami Butterflies close-up

Butterflies & Becky

Hero’s Horse 

Ancient legends tell of a winged white horse sent from the heavens to help the hero in his journey to save the world. Upon completing the task, the mythical winged horse returns to the sky, changing back into the constellation Pegasus.

Hero’s Horse and Chihuly’s Red Chandelier

Chihuly’s Red Chandelier

Hero’s Horse

White Bison

"Duogami" means two-sided paper. A piece of duogami paper has a different color paper on each side. This white bison was the first collaboration between Kevin Box and internationally renowned origami artist Robert J. Lang. This design uses a single, uncut piece of duogami paper that is white on one side and silver on the other. The white bison is a symbol of peace to many native Americans.*

White Bison, unfolded - one piece of paper

Emerging Peace

Peace Pattern

The origami crane is one of the oldest designs folded from a single, uncut square of paper. Images and references to this iconic design date back hundreds of years. The crane has become a symbol of peace around the world and continues to be an inspiration for many.*

Butterfly Unfolded & Crane Unfolding

The sculpture on the left began as an origami butterfly intricately folded by Michael G. LaFosse, but then it was painstakingly unfolded by Box. He likes to unfold origami designs to reveal the complicated patterns that exist hidden beneath the surface. Origami artists refer to these folds as ‘Crease patterns.’*

Flying Peace

Phoenix Rising unfolded crane
* Information about this exhibit is adapted from Museum signage

Naples Botanical Garden: “Origami in the Garden”

December 3, 2016 - April 23, 2017

Origami in the Garden is a monumental outdoor sculpture exhibition created by American artists Kevin and Jennifer Box. The exhibition is a partnership between Artis-Naples and the Naples Botanical Garden. Motivated by the impermanence of paper, Kevin Box pioneered a new method of capturing its delicate detail into museum-quality metals utilizing lost wax casting and fabrication techniques. 

Origami is the art of paper folding, and each sculpture in the Origami in the Garden collection began with a single piece of paper. Five sculptures and about 40 unfolded pieces of origami are on display at The Baker Museum with nearly 30 more sculptures at the Garden. Collectively, the exhibition tells the story of creativity and the art of making something out of nothing. The collection includes Box’s own compositions as well as collaborative works with his wife Jennifer Box and world-renowned origami artists such as Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Michael G. LaFosse and Richard Alexander.*

Rock Paper Scissors

“This sculpture was inspired by a real conflict I encountered in my life. The game, rock-paper-scissors, is a fun way to determine the winner for lighthearted conflicts, such as who gets to sit in the front seat or who gets to eat the last piece of cake. But in my experience, serious conflict requires conversation and communication.” — Kevin Box

Nesting Pair

Crane Unfolding

Crane Unfolding was the first origami-inspired work by Box. To him, the folded crane is a symbol of what we see and who we are on the outside, but also who we are on the inside. When unfolded, we can see all the beauty, design, and detail that existed within the folded piece. There is more to the world than meets the eye, and the artist is able to express this idea in this sculpture through the simple metaphor of origami. *

White Bison

Kevin Box was inspired by the stories he heard growing up in Oklahoma of a white bison, a sacred animal that brought peace and prosperity to Native Americans. Like the origami crane, the white bison is a symbol of peace. Duogami uses origami paper that has a different color on each side, in this case, white and silver. The end result is a white bison with silver eyes, horns and hind quarters.* 

White Bisons

Orchids - the real thing--not origami

Master Peace
“Rather than a monument to the tragedies of the past, we created a monument of hope for the future." — Jennifer Box

Possibly the most stunning sculpture in the exhibition is Master Peace, a 25-foot tall sculpture of 1,000 stainless steel cranes. 500 cranes are gathered together here in this monument, and 500 are scattered into the world as individual pieces. A black granite base below the monument serves as a mirror that reflects all 1,000 cranes, keeping them together forever. Its placement in the water feature of the Burle Marx Plaza is spectacular as well.*

Master Peace close-up
An ancient Asian legend tells of a thousand paper cranes. It says that if you fold one thousand cranes within a single year, you will be granted a wish. The Japanese call it “Senbazuru.” Many people undertake this paper-folding pilgrimage as a wish for long life and good health. The single, white crane is a symbol of peace, but it is also a symbol of the soul or spirit. Cranes are known to mate for life, so when a thousand cranes are folded and given as a wedding gift, it is in the hopes that the marriage will be a long and happy one.* 

Millions of people throughout the world have folded a thousand cranes as a wish for peace. Box and his wife, Jennifer, created Master Peace, a sculpture of one thousand, cast metal cranes as their wish for peace.

Double Happiness

While the artists were building their first home together, they were inspired when watching a pair of birds building their nest. The olive branches in this sculpture were gathered from the land where they were building their home. Cast in bronze, those olive branches symbolize the compromise it takes to create a happy home. *

Double Happiness close-up

Balancing Act

“Creativity is a process of making choices. The most important ones inspire us to begin and let us know when we are done. Sometimes we take shortcuts and sometimes we take the long way. Either way, the choice is up to us.”   Kevin Box

To cut or not to cut--this is the question for many paper folders. Origami usually begins with a square piece of paper that can be folded into an endless array of forms. This sculpture demonstrates the exquisite balancing act between the pure form of the origami crane, folded from a single, uncut square of paper, and the elegant precision of the kirigami horse, created using only 4 cuts in the paper. *

Emerging Peace

The life-cycle of a butterfly tells a complex story of transformation. In it we can see how a caterpillar, capable of destroying a plant with an enormous appetite, consuming over 3,000 times its body weight in a single day, changes into a beautiful butterfly that will pollinate plants for miles. *

“Humanity possesses many of these same traits and seems to be going therough similar cycles of growth and transformation. The caterpillar’s plant is like our planet. The caterpillar’s appetite is not unlike our own, and the future of our fate is tied to our ability to transform our capacity for consumption into pollinating patterns of prosperity.” Kevin Box

Flying Peace

The origami crane is one of the oldest designs folded from a single, uncut square of paper. Images and references to this iconic design dates back hundreds of years. The crane has become a symbol of peace around the world and continues to be an inspiration for many. This flock of cranes is lifting off in all directions to spread their wings and their peaceful message.*

Flying Folds

Folding Planes

Folding Planes repeats a common theme found in much of the artist’s work; the story of a piece of paper that dreams of flying. This composition begins at the base with a blank sheet of paper and shows how, with seven, simple folds, an airplane emerges and takes flight. Each fold symbolizes a choice or action taken to transform dreams into reality. It takes seven folds to make a piece of paper fly, but the first step begins with setting a goal and then following through to the finish. *

Light Boat

Inspired by the traditional origami design of a paper boat, this sculpture is lifted high into the air to make it look light. It balances upon olive branches that serve as oars that would normally propel it through the water.*

 Paper Navigators

"For me, the paper boat captures the great adventure and courage that took place on such fragile terms within the vastness of the sea.” — Kevin Box

Paper Navigator

Polynesian explorers used the technique of “wayfinding” to navigate the ocean by boat. They used no nautical instruments to find their way, but instead relied solely on their senses. The Polynesian people traveled in small boats across vast seas carrying the plants, animals and seeds they needed to prosper on very small island chains like, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Hawaii.

Star Unfolding

“The origami crane is a symbol of truth, peace, beauty, and long life. This crane reveals the meaning of its life as it unfolds into a star.” — Kevin Box

This abstracted self-portrait represents the artist’s work prior to learning about origami. There is a relationship between this work and the star at the base of the Crane Unfolding. Both tell the story of what might be beneath the surface of what we see and the patterns of consciousness within us. *

Painted Ponies

This is the first collaboration between Box and Chinese origami artist, Te Jui Fu. They chose to use the same colorful papers that are often used in origami, as well as another Japanese paper-folding technique called “kirigami,” which means “cutting paper.” Here, scissors are used to make four cuts in the paper square to more easily achieve the details of the pony’s legs and ears. The symbol on the back of the large pony is a collaborative signature. The Chinese character of Te Jui's last name, Fu, meaning “teacher” in English, and the box that encloses the character representing Kevin Box’s last name. *

Painted Ponies


Duet close-up

Rising Cranes

Rising Cranes close-up

Sway with Me

Sway with Me is a collaboration between Box, and his wife Jennifer. Some say all artwork is a self-portrait or expression of how an artist sees him or herself. In this sculpture, a bird swing made of branches has not one, but two cranes landing gracefully upon it. They seem to like each other as they swing together in harmony. Like the origami crane, the olive branch is a symbol of peace and compromise. The origami cranes were originally made of paper and cast in stainless steel. The swing itself is made from olive branches that have been cast in bronze.*

Sway with me

Gathering Peace

The artist, and his wife Jennifer, love to watch the birds gather at their bird feeders. This horizontal composition celebrates the way birds gather peacefully to share food and drink. It also reminds Box of the many gatherings that he and Jennifer have shared with friends and family—a coming together around good food, great company, and lively conversation.*

*Information about this exhibit is adapted from the Botanical Garden signage.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Art in the Gardens at Edison Estates: Flowers

The 7th Annual Art in the Gardens returns to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates from April 12 - May 15, 2015. The theme this year is “Flowers in the Garden"  Each art piece must be made with recycled materials, and the artwork must be sturdy enough to withstand Florida weather. More than 20 Lee County Schools have their artwork on display for visitors to enjoy in the Heritage Garden. The student installations of garden art are incorporated into a background of flowers, plants and trees which are a permanent part of the truck garden. There is also a large collection of plants for sale, including butterfly garden plants. On the day I visited the garden, there were countless butterflies flitting around the area--more than I’ve ever seen flying around without being in an enclosure, drawn by the plants in bloom.

This year I think that the artwork exhibits done by the elementary school students outshone their older counterparts. The younger students came up with fun, creative, whimsical designs; while the exhibits of older students were more polished and professional-looking, they didn’t have the playfulness that the elementary students’ artwork displayed. But keep looking, and judge for yourself.

The Opening Reception for the exhibit was on April 12.


Fan-paddle flowers by Pine Island Elementary

Art teacher Gloria Van Duzer

A huge CD-flower behind Mina Edison
The flower made of many, many compact disks is by South Fort Myers High.

Art teachers Jeanne Dozier and Tina Miller
Maypole with streamers by Varsity Lakes Middle School.
 On a windy day, the streamers got tangled up, or the effect would have been prettier.
Art teacher Marjorie Resler
Hubcap flowers by Lehigh Senior High

Art teacher Betsy H

Roses, LED light bulb flowers and mop-head flowers

Tribute to Mina and Hilda, A Swynnerton Rose

A rose garden in Staffordshire, England, commemorates the “Swynnerton Roses,” women who worked in an ammunition factory during World War II--a very dangerous job at the time because of the explosive ingredients of the munitions, such as TNT, and of bombing raids targeting the factory. (That’s all I learned about these roses. I’m not sure if this reference is correct, but it is an interesting story, anyway.)

A Swynnerton Rose by Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts

LED light bulbs make up the center of the flower by St Andrew Catholic School.

Art teacher Diana Villadolid

A cluster of flowers by Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School

Art teacher Karen Flanders
One of the flowers in the cluster
Mop-head flowers by Estero High
Art teacher James Milne

A yarn flower and flowers in pails in front of real garden plants

A yarn flower with a unique center, well-liked by bees, by Bayshore Elementary

Art teacher James Lefko
Flowers in pails by Trafalgar Elementary
Art teacher Helen Garcia-Valdez
A tall red rose by Trafalgar Middle School
The rose and bud
Art teacher Margaret Horn

A bird and flower-covered house by Challenger Middle School
Art teacher Sandy Rayannic

Clematis Florida Sieboldii cluster by Fort Myers High

Art teacher Crystina Castiglione

A single rose by Mariner High
Art teacher Jen Riley

Colorful day lilies by Mirror Lakes Elementary

Art teacher Angela Weiss

Bottle-top flowers by Rayma C. Page Elementary


Art teacher Robert Sherry
Bottle-top flower construction from side
Pie-plate flowers by Tice Elementary
Art teacher Jill Kessler

Wild Flowers from plastic glasses by Tortuga Preserve Elementary

Zebra Flowers

Art teacher Christina Sterrett

Giant plastic utensil flowers by Veterans Park Academy for the Arts
Art teacher Jill Antonucci
Mosaic urn by St Francis Xavier Catholic School
Art teacher Vanessa Lombardo

Butterfly Garden plants
Butterfly perched on Lantana
Another butterfly on Ixora
Reflecting pool in the Heritage Garden

The reflecting pool up close