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The Dream by Linda Stephen, collaborative origami art

The Dream

20” x 23” x 1”

Collaborative art created during my 2014 artist residency for the National Park Service at Homestead National Historical Park in Beatrice, Nebraska. Participants included 200 visitors from 20 states.

Like the homesteaders of the past who worked together on barn raisings and quilting bees, visitors to the Homestead National Historic Park during Art in the Park Week had the opportunity to contribute their part to something larger - a piece of art that represents the work of many coming together. Visitors of all ages (youngest was 18 months) folded 1/2” or 1” squares of hand-dyed washi papers to make a prairie flower petal.

During my residency, I walked the paths of the prairie looking for wildflowers that might have a petal shape that could be simplified to an origami pattern of fewer than 8 folds – something “accessible to all.” I designed origami patterns for the blue vervain and the yellow partridge pea prairie flowers. Each flower stalk includes petals folded by 30 to 40 people, ages 2 to 80. I taught origami at two public workshops and also to drop by visitors to the park.

These paper petals, the work of many hands, along with other original origami sculptures that I invented like the sod house, chickens, family, scythe, barn were incorporated into the “The Dream.” Invention and assembly took three months.


Paper construction of invented origami and paper layering with Japanese handcrafted papers.


Hard work, prairies, and people working to create something bigger together.

The Dream by Linda Stephen, collaborative origami art

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.