Folding Paper origamai exhibit at Bellevue Arts Museum

Folding Paper origami exhibit at Bellevue Arts Museum

Yesterday I travelled by bus across Lake Washington to see the origami exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum, which is an easy stroll from the Bellevue Transit Center.   The exhibit, “Folding Paper: Infinite Possibilities of Origami,” runs through September 21st.  I love papercraft of all kinds, and this exhibit showcases the intricacies and magic of folded paper.  Many of the pieces on display were constructed from a single sheet of paper.  I can’t begin to comprehend the vision, engineering skills, and artistry needed to create such amazing art objects.  I was astounded and delighted by these imaginative works.

Paper dress and shoes

Paper dress and shoes

Pli Selon Pli No. 2 by Koshiro Hatori

Pli Selon Pli No. 2 by Koshiro Hatori

Twirl Rhombuses by Kystuna and Wojtek Burczyk

Twirl Rhombuses by Kystuna and Wojtek Burczyk

The Plague by Siphon Nabone

The Plague by Siphon Nabone

Square Limpets by Polly Verity

Square Limpets by Polly Verity

Giotto's Circle by Andrea Russo

Giotto’s Circle by Andrea Russo

Frog on a Leaf by Bernie Peyton

Frog on a Leaf by Bernie Peyton

Mother and Child by Christine Edison

Mother and Child by Christine Edison

The staircase at the Bellevue Arts Museum is very origami-like, too, don't you agree?

The staircase at the Bellevue Arts Museum is very origami-like, too, don’t you agree?

I learned that paper folding has real-life applications that go way beyond creating art objects.  Scientists who want to transport large objects, like sun shields or telescope lenses, into space might engineer a folded apparatus to save space during the haul, only to be unfolded at its destination in space.  Or doctors might transport tiny folded repair materials through a blood vessel, to be unfolded and applied as a heart stent.  Think of the miraculous properties of the air bags in your car — another piece of origami-like engineering.

You can read more about the origami in this exhibit in a book, Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami by Meher McArthur and Robert J. Lang.

 

Exhibit sign at the Bellevue Art Museum

I finally went to see the quilt exhibit — Bold Expressions: African-American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley — at the Bellevue Arts Museum (a city across Lake Washington from Seattle).  This is an amazing collection, gathered over three decades.  Most of the quilts were made between 1910 and the 1970s by women from Alabama, Texas, and other southern states.  I thought that the bold, asymmetrical and improvised designs looked quite contemporary.  This exhibit is definitely worth a trip before it closes on October 7th.

African-American quilts on exhibit

I was impressed by the industry of this quilt maker, who sewed thousands of tiny scraps into a stunning quilt.

Quilt from the Bold Expressions Exhibit

Not all of the quilts were boldly colored, but all were lovely and pleasing to look at.

Some of the quilts were tied rather than hand-quilted — reminded me of my first quilting efforts.

Detail of another tied quilt

This quilt was made from worn-out work clothes.

Even patched scraps were too valuable to throw away.

These quilt blocks, made by Corrine Riley from old, collected fabrics, were suitable for framing and for sale in the museum gift shop for $190 each.

You can read more about this exhibit in this Seattle Times article.