Urban Enchantment: Origami at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
August 16, 2022
I’ve been waiting to see The Giantest Pegasus since May. But between work, travel, The Heat, and The Return of Summer Storms, there just hadn’t been a day when I was in Atlanta, not buried under a book pile, and not in danger of reenacting that scene at the end of The Wizard of Oz with the bucket and the screech-melting.
But on Friday night, the stars, the storm clouds, and my calendar experienced a Great Conjunction, and my husband Jared and I finally got to see the Origami in the Garden exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Y’all, it was worth the wait.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of my favorite things in Atlanta. I’ve been going there my entire life (I actually went to my first ever summer camp there when I was 5!), and they’re always doing something beautiful and inventive.
For instance, the Earth Goddess sculpture has been part of the Garden since 2013. Every winter season, she’s decorated with different shades of blue lights, but here she is with her own fleet of origami boats!
Here’s what the Garden says about the exhibition:
“The exhibition features 18 installations of nearly 70 museum-quality metal sculptures inspired by the Japanese art of folding paper that are the creations of Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box.
All are larger than life, some more than 20 feet tall, and all based on prototypes created with origami – one folded sheet of paper with no cuts. Throughout the Garden will be large-scale sculptures of flying birds, emerging butterflies, grazing deer, floating boats and more. The highlight of the show will be “Master Peace,” a 25-foot-tall sculpture of hundreds of stainless steel origami peace cranes towering over Howell Fountain.”
“Created by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box in collaboration with acclaimed origami artists Dr. Robert J. Lang, Michael G. LaFosse, Beth Johnson, and Te Jui Fu, ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN elevates the ancient art of origami to new heights.
Each piece begins as a single, uncut piece of paper. Using the techniques of lost-wax casting and fabrication, the sculptures in this exhibit glorify the precision of origami in stately museum-quality metals using an innovative 35+ step process that took nine years to perfect.”
I loved this owl, who was among the smallest sculptures in the exhibition.
I also adored these bunnies.
This picture just kills me because they somehow look even MORE like bunnies when they blend into the Garden foliage!
Everything about this one kills me. It’s so witty and so sweet!
It’s a little hard to convey scale in this one, but let me assure you, those birds are ENORMOUS.
Always have to get a picture with this guy. (#GodHasMadeMeVile #IfYouKnowYouKnow)
This was one of the most spectacular pieces in the exhibit. The bouquet has got to be at least 25 feet tall, but it feels even bigger when you’re standing beneath it!
One more shot of the Pegasus.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Garden while the exhibition is still here! It’s a truly fantastical, gorgeous piece of urban enchantment.