News Release

Community builds an impressive origami structure for the Shenkman Arts Centre
May 06, 2014

Significant Connections to mark 5th Anniversary

AOE Arts Council is in the final stages of an exciting community art project led by artist Karen Goetzinger that will mark the 5th anniversary of the Shenkman Arts Centre. Significant Connections is a community art collaboration that involves people of many ages, cultural backgrounds, and skill levels.

Participants were invited to fold two origami shapes, a lotus and camellia, which would serve as the foundational pieces in the construction of the large scale dimensional artwork. Some have donated specialty papers, artist test papers, sketches, children’s paintings and drawings, calligraphy or works of art on paper that have been incorporated into the project. Others with an affinity for origami have brought their cleverly folded pieces of paper to be added to the project.

Since October 2013, an estimated 4,000 forms have been contributed in anticipation to make two columns. One being about 12" in diameter and 14-16 feet long. The other column will be 32" in diameter and will measure between eight to nine feet long. The final outcome is really dependent on the sum of all contributions Karen has to work with and will continue to evolve right up to the installation completion.

“The willingness of people to fold one, ten, or even 100 origami forms was gratifying and it has been exciting to see some use the project as a creative springboard, contributing in completely unexpected ways,” says Karen Goetzinger. “As items started to fill the AOE office, Significant Connections morphed from the initial concept of flat panels to 3D columns brought to life only through the generosity of each contributor.”

For those not keen on folding, their shared art experiences at the Centre or how the arts have affected their life are being collected on tags of various sizes and materials. Visitors will be able to create a tag on the day of festivities for the Centre. AOE Arts Council would like to see as many community members contribute and take ownership of the collective project.

Building the project has had its challenges for Goetzinger who suffered a broken arm during February. Folding and sewing the pieces became a call to volunteers and many hands, another way the project has brought people together.

The Significant Connections community art project will be installed in the upper lobby of the Shenkman Arts Centre for the May 31st celebrations. All who enter through the main doors at the Centrum Boulevard entrance will immediately see the multiple paper contributions through the glass enclosure.

“Significant connections have been made and I hope that while the collaborative art project is seen in the Centre it will be a reminder that any contribution to your arts community, large or small, is a significant connection,” adds Goetzinger.

More about the mixed media textile artist, Karen Goetzinger:

See images of the evolving Significant Connections project:

See the project video interviews by Liana Voia with the artist and contributors:

About the Significant Connections project and contributors:

About AOE Arts Council
AOE Arts Council (AOE) has been serving the Ottawa region arts community for 25 years. As a not-for-profit charitable organization, AOE acknowledges the generosity of its donors, funders and partners, who assist the Council to promote, support and develop the arts. AOE represents a bilingual membership of 458 artists, organizations and supporters.

About the Shenkman Arts Centre 5th Anniversary
Since opening its doors in June of 2009, Shenkman Arts Centre has been offering unforgettable moments, learning opportunities, and a place for experimentation and play. Hundreds of thousands have joined in these experiences making the Centre a creative hub and gathering place in the heart of Orléans.  With over 1,000 activities to choose from annually, the Centre has really begun to establish itself in the community life of the region.

For more information:
Cristiane Doherty,
Director of Communications, AOE Arts Council
Tel. : 613.580.2767