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Los Cerrillos, New Mexico

Origami in the Garden

Giant origami sculptures tucked into desert scenery beckon passers-by to explore further. 

Motorists driving on Highway 14 south of Santa Fe might be surprised to spot a patch of monumental origami objects that appear as suddenly and inexplicably as they disappear. Those who choose to investigate the dirt road that affords access to this peculiar vision will quickly be greeted by a substantial leaf sculpture, beautiful and green and exquisitely detailed, welcoming them to Origami in the Garden.

Created by artists Kevin and Jennifer Box, Origami in the Garden is a collection of sculptures that capture the texture, fragility, and impermanence of small paper objects in outsized metal forms. The juxtaposition of the light, crumpled shapes with the heavy, solid materials is as compelling as the contrast between these crisp human constructions and their dusty desert environs.

Origami cranes, boats, animals, and paper airplanes are just a few of the sculptures on display. A large Rock-Paper-Scissors sculpture hangs above the visitors center welcome desk, cleverly evoking childhood games with friends. The visitors center also features metal sheets that look like “unfolded” papers to show where the folds would be in actual origami, demonstrating that the artist actually understands origami and collaborated with some of the top origami artists in the world, but wanted to realize the art form in a larger and more permanent way.