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Transformation in the garden

A look at the art of Kevin Box

I found a unique art exhibit on a recent trip to New Mexico – “Origami in the Garden” by artist Kevin Box. I have been making paper crane earrings for a while, and was intrigued at seeing the traditional art form of paper folding on a larger scale. 

Box states: “Origami presents a simple metaphor; we all start with a blank page, what we do with it is up to us and the possibilities are endless.” This is the basis for many of Box’s sculptures – he shows transformation through the art of paper folding. A piece titled “Folding Planes” is the transformation of a simple piece of blank paper becoming an airplane in flight, fold by simple fold. 

“Crane Unfolding” is a transformation in reverse – a fully-folded crane is unfolded, fold by fold, until the creased star of the piece of paper is revealed in its own beauty. 

“Flight of Folds” is a collaboration between Kevin Box and Robert J. Lang. This piece reveals the transformation the paper crane has undergone through time. The more simple traditional crane has taken on many other forms that are much more complicated and intricate in their folds. 

“Master Peace” was, by far, the largest of the sculptures in the garden. This is a 25-foot tower made of 500 of the 1,000 cranes that Kevin Box and his wife, Jennifer Box, cast in metal. The 500 cranes that are not a part of the tower have been sent out into the world to further their message of hope for peace in the future. 

I had decided to visit this art exhibit initially for practical reasons that had to do with my own art. However, I realized that I connected to these pieces on an emotional level. Box’s way of showing transformation through the beautiful tradition of origami really showed that changes are never ending. The beauty in his work symbolizes the beauty in our lives and the never-ending changes we experience. 

You can see this exhibit yourself on tour in various botanical gardens throughout the United States. Learn more at  

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