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Epic Origami

by Brea Aamoth on June 25th, 2015

ANIMAlSImiloa Astronomy Center will feature local Waimea artist Bonnie Cherni and other guest artists in a new EPIC ORIGAMI exhibit. The three-month exhibit will explore the art and science of origami from July 5, 2015 – September 27, 2015. Cherni’s art has been shown at Kahilu Theatre,

Photo of Bonnie Cherni

Photo of Bonnie Cherni

Keck Observatory, and Waimea Ocean Film Festival and will be presented at ‘Imiloa with some never-seen-before pieces including the Jackson lizard, an endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, rhinos, the wild pig and a smiley frog. This exhibit will also explore how the application of math to art has made advances in astronomy, medicine and the automotive industry. In conjunction with this exhibit, the award-winning film “Between the Folds” will be shown daily in the planetarium at 11:00 a.m. (not full dome, but letterbox format). This documentary paints a striking portrait of the remarkable artistic and scientific creativity that fuels the ever-changing art of origami, fusing science and sculpture, form and function, and ancient and new. A hands-on origami folding station and exciting origami scavenger hunt will also be a part of this exhibit.

The exhibit will officially open on Sunday, July 5 at 9:00 a.m. with two showings of “Between the Folds” at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and origami folding stations available throughout the day. From 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ‘Imiloa members are invited to a private pizza lunch and exclusive origami folding activities with artist Bonnie Cherni.Lizard

Cherni is an avid student of John Montroll’s designs and was inspired to fold origami from the age of fifteen. She is the leading artist for this exhibit and has collaborated with guest artists from around the world, creating everything from miniature to life-sized sculptures, in mediums ranging from paper, Fireworksaluminum, copper and canvas. Her art embodies the idea of “folding sturdy sculptures that can live out in the real world.” Other artists represented include: (1) Vietnamese artist Nguyen Hung Cuong lives in Hanoi and folds many of his expressive designs using a Vietnamese paper with a waxy finish called Dó. He has been folding since the young age of five and has been featured in many origami books with his incredibly detailed pieces. (2) Nicolas Terry is a professional origami artist who resides in Paris, France. He is an accomplished author and creator of one of the most popular origami sites in the world ( (3) Steven Epstein resides on the Big Island.  With a degree in computer science and minor in math, Epstein has fun bringing math to life with his intricate modular origami pieces. (4) Local artist Shannon Nakaya is a highly recognized bird surgeon and veterinarian who applies her understanding of anatomical structure and function to folding complex origami.

Admission to EPIC ORIGAMI and “Between the Folds” is included in the general admission fee of $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for children. Kama’aina prices are available and, as always, ‘Imiloa Giraffemembers receive free admission.


Cherni will be back at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center to teach special workshops on July 11 and September 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Beginner to advanced origami folders are welcome and can explore the many possibilities of this fun and addicting art! Admission is $25.00 for members and $35.00 for non-members. Space is very limited so early registration is suggested.  An adult must accompany children under ten.  To sign-up, visit ‘Imiloa’s front desk or call (808) 969-9703.

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