Maybe it's because our house is such a jumble right now of boxes, tape and wrapping paper, but I was fascinated to see something artistic done with two of those materials -- cardboard and packing tape -- when I visited San Jose's Children's Discovery Museum this week.
"Holidays Unboxed: A Spectacle of Cardboard and Tape" opened earlier this month, and it appears to be fascinating lots of kids, too, based on what I saw. The more kid-friendly of two installations is "TapeScape," created by Eric Lennartson, which uses 300 rolls of packing tape to create a translucent maze that kids can run through. Some say it looks like an ice sculpture, but it seemed very spider-webby to me.
The Cardboard Institute of Technology created the other piece, which is a cardboard sculpture that hangs from the ceiling near the Kids' Cafe. It's amazingly intricate, and anyone who's spent quality time breaking down boxes for the recycling bin should appreciate the artistry.
The exhibits will outlast the holidays, remaining on display through Feb. 3. And when it's over, the materials will be recycled, of course.
ART SHOWCASE: Olga Enciso Smith, founder of the Machu Picchu Gallery of the Americas, has some of the art she's collected on display at the Big Basin Cafe in Saratoga. The "Latin American and Folk Art" exhibit includes textiles from Chile, oil paintings from Bolivia and other original arts from the Americas.
VISIT FROM ST. NICK: Mike Frangadakis will be getting in his red suit and playing Santa on Saturday for the Los Gatos Rotary Club, which is bringing a brunch of gifts to the Fisher House, located on the Veterans Affairs hospital grounds in Palo Alto.
Members of the club have made donations to provide gift bags for all 21 rooms at the house, where families with wounded soldiers can stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment. A small group also will visit the hospital's trauma unit to deliver 15 gifts to patients with brain injuries.
HOLIDAY (GANGNAM) STYLE: Lots of "Gangnam Style" parodies out there, but I got a kick out of the one the staff at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art did as its annual holiday "video card." That gang is good for a laugh every year. Check out the link at www.sjica.org.