Spotlight on Art: ‘Conversation Peace’: A sculpture to talk about

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Courtesy of Ginny Strock
“Conversation Peace” cuts a compelling presence near the corner of First and Main streets.

As you enter downtown Los Altos by turning onto Main Street from Foothill Expressway, you will see the sculpture at 400 Main in front of Cetrella Restaurant, titled “Conversation Peace.”

This arresting sculpture by artist Kevin Box reminds one of the ancient game of rock-paper-scissors, a hand-gesture game used worldwide to immediately settle disputes or decide who goes or chooses first. The sculpture consists of a large rock, topped by a pair of scissors upon which sits a facsimile of an origami paper crane.

Box has a large property and studio with his artist wife, Jennifer Box, just outside Santa Fe, N.M., on the Turquoise Trail that connects Albuquerque with Santa Fe. In their studio, they create bronze sculptures ranging in size from mini and desktop to gigantic outdoor creations.

Kevin Box’s unique style marries the art of origami paper-folding with the age-old tradition of bronze metal casting. The final sculpture is born after many days of collaboration with origami artists to develop a design and model, then lots of molding, lost-wax casting, 3D printing, welding and painting.

Los Altos residents Sue and Ken Greathouse generously donated “Conversation Peace” to the city in 2014. The Greathouses became interested in Kevin Box’s work when they saw his sculpture at a friend’s house in Albuquerque. They then visited his home studio on their way to Santa Fe and truly fell in love with his style. They decided on their donation so that this artist’s fascinating work could be shared with the community.

Kevin and Jennifer Box’s work can be seen in public spaces, private homes, galleries and museums all over the world.

When asked the meaning of the title “Conversation Peace,” Kevin said, “The artwork is meant to inspire a conversation. Rock-paper-scissors is a fun way to find an immediate winner. For a serious conflict, and in order to find peace, a conversation with communication is the key.”

Ginny Strock is a member of the Los Altos Public Arts Commission.

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