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Community Unfolding in Minden Origami community artwork by Linda Stephen

Community Unfolding in Minden

37" x 42" x 2"
Not for Sale

“Community Unfolding in Minden” is the culmination of a project commissioned by the Minden Opera House in February 2021. With the participation of Minden Public School students, Bethany Home residents, Jensen Memorial Library patrons, Minden Opera House members, and beyond, Linda Stephen created this piece as a reminder of how Minden came together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fine art paper construction features the Kearney County Courthouse with the Christmas lights in downtown Minden, Nebraska. The artwork incorporated both the artist’s paper sculptures, and hundreds of small origami models made by Minden residents. Stephen invented simple origami models for snow piles, street bricks and lightbulbs – art contributions that represent the gifts all ages bring to the community. The artist first conducted workshops throughout the community during March and April before spending five months on further invention and assembly. The artwork was unveiled in December 2021 and hangs in the lobby of the Minden Opera House, thanks in part from the support of the Arthur Klinkacek Community Enrichment Fund of the Kearney Area Community Foundation.

The art construction, invention process took five months, May to September. There are more than 1,000 origami pieces. Here’s a time-lapse video (59 seconds) of the work over 5 months. I took a photo about every 5 to 15 hours. I work on a ping pong table. Off camera, I have piles of dozens of papers that are finalists for being part of the art. Also not shown are the trials and errors in size or shape in creating different origami pieces.


Handmade papers and layers of invented origami sculptures


Inspired by the many residents of all ages of Minden, Nebraska who work together for the city. The scene is inspired by the “Christmas City” of Minden, Nebraska, which has lit the Kearney County Courthouse and square every winter since 1915. The thousands of lights are turned off in January each year. In March 2020, they were turned back on to be a “light in the darkness” during the hard time of the beginning of the pandemic.

Community Unfolding in Minden Origami community artwork by Linda Stephen

Are you interested in a collaborative artwork for your community, business or organization?

I put on workshops across the country for all ages. I specialize in designing artworks and workshops that involve all ages in creating art that celebrates a vision or a place.