Origami Artist Linda Stephen – Interview and Bio

Linda Stephen : Bio

Linda Stephen has more than 25 years experience in origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Fluent in Japanese and passionate about Japanese paper, Stephen studied Japanese art and worked in rural Japan for seven years.

Through using the limited geometric forms of origami combined with hundreds of handmade patterned papers, Stephen specializes in creating custom commissioned artworks for commercial, civic, educational, hospitality, nonprofit and private organizations.

Her work is a variation on the ancient art of origami. To create stylized scenes that reflect a place, she spends hours choosing papers for color and texture or in “R&D” inventing new origami shapes to fit a scene. Just as a piece of paper can be folded into an airplane or a flower, the possibilities for each of us are endless.

Stephen’s origami collage landscapes are part of private and public collections around the world including the City of Omihachiman, Japan, the City of Big Rapids, Mich., and the new $150 million J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., for which she and her husband Masaya Honda did a series of six pieces honoring the Grand Rapids’ sister cities around the world.

Stephen started making her origami collage landscapes of public historical sites, athletes in action and country scenes in 2004. Since then, her award-winning art works have been selected to more than 30 juried shows or exhibits including The Museum of the Hudson Highlands, the American Crafts Festival, the Minden Opera House, the McClelland Gallery at Union College, the White Plains Outdoor Art Festival, the Westchester County Federation of Women’s Clubs Beaux Arts Finale, the Lincoln Arts Festival and the Association of Nebraska Arts Clubs’ Annual Art Exhibit. In 2010, she was one of 12 Nebraska artists selected by the Nebraska Arts Council for a solo exhibit at the Governor’s Residence.

She also works with corporations and community groups on special projects – from animated commercials to collaborative art.

A communications consultant for 15 years to international organizations that include the United Nations Development Programme, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and Matsushita-Panasonic, Stephen is inspired by the peoples, cultures and places of the world – from Minden, Nebraska’s town square to a market in Ghana. Her art reflects the joys of life and the preciousness of each day and each person.

Stephen has taught at the Lux Center for the Arts, Bright Lights, Creighton University’s Gifted & Talented Summer Program, the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts, the University of Missouri-Columbia, The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (Hikone, Shiga, Japan), Ryukoku University (Kyoto, Japan) and Omi Brotherhood Schools (Omihachiman, Japan).

She holds a Master of Arts degree in international journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in French,summa cum laude, with minors in business, mathematics and music from Northern Michigan University, where she was chosen “Outstanding Graduate” by the Michigan Association of State University Boards and honored as one of the Top 10 graduates in the State of Michigan by Michigan Woman.

In 2003, she started Sol Cards, Inc. with her husband Masaya Honda, a native of Japan, to create custom cards and commissioned art. They moved from New York to Nebraska in 2005 and now live in Lincoln with their two children. Stephen is represented in Lincoln by the Noyes Art Gallery and in New York by the GR Art Gallery. See examples of her works at http://www.lindastephen.com/or www.solcards.com.



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