The Art of the Fold

Now on display at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach is Origami in the Garden, an exhibition created by artists Kevin and Jennifer Box.

Spending an afternoon walking through a garden and thinking “Wasn’t origami an art form that was supposed to fit into the palm of your hand?”

The Art of the Fold | Mounts Botanical  | Paper Cranes | Coastal Drive Magazine

Origami, meaning “folding paper” in Japanese, reflects the essence of creativity: making something out of (basically) nothing. Start with a simple square piece of paper. Apply the art of origami, folding the paper in a creative way to produce an elegant object—a soaring bird, gliding plane, galloping pony, floating boat, or an emerging butterfly.

The exhibit on display at the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach now thru May 14, 2024, gives you an idea of the size and scope of artist Kevin Box’s vision. The installation includes 13 large-scale outdoor sculptures & 8 pieces for an interior educational exhibit, ‘Inside Out’. Flying birds, emerging butterflies, floating boats and soaring paper airplanes are just a few of the subjects featured in the show. The crown jewel of the exhibition is Master Peace, a 25 foot tall sculpture of 1,000 stainless steel origami peace cranes. 500 of the cranes gather together in the monument and 500 are scattered into the world as individual collector pieces. A black granite base (or pond) below the monument serves as a mirror that reflects all 1,000 cranes keeping them together forever. Seeing this work of art in person is a powerful experience.

The Art of the Fold | Mounts Botanical  | Paper Crane Tower | Coastal Drive Magazine

Above, you can see an example of the scale in reference. Below, is the one piece of folded paper giving the look of what the final pegasus would become. After that is the actual sculpture. The model is no more than 10 inches tall. The actual work is 8 feet long!

The Art of the Fold | Mounts Botanical  | Pegasus | Coastal Drive Magazine
The Art of the Fold | Mounts Botanical  | Pegasus | Coastal Drive Magazine

The pieces when they are created do actually start from one sheet of paper. From there, the creative team uses such techniques as lost-wax casting and fabrication, the sculptures in this exhibit glorify the precision of origami in stately museum-quality metals. In the beginning, Box had to do every exhausting step of the process himself. Today, he still begins every piece with a blank page and manages it through the 35-step, 12+ week process of casting with the help of fine art foundry and fabrication teams. Pieces are cast in bronze, aluminum or stainless steel depending on the design requirements.

Enjoy the day exploring this rare exhibit.


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