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Courtesy The Memorial Crane Project

The delicate and historic beauty of folded Japanese origami cranes is reflected in 10,000 cranes floating in The Museum of Boulder through September, representing the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the pandemic. Other tributes, specific to this exhibit, remember the 10 Boulder mass murder victims.

The Karla Funderburk Memorial Crane Project, created by the artist in her Los Angeles studios, began in May 2020 to help her “process and contemplate the volume of the souls we were losing from the pandemic.” At that time there were 88,000 deaths. Now that total is more than 573,000.

Reaching out to other artists, Funderburk started with 7,500 cranes suspended from copper wires in her gallery where people could walk through the maze of memories. As the coronavirus continued, she has received more than 80,000 cranes, and they now include names and stories.

Museums across the country are interested in their exhibits and 10,000 cranes at a time are on a national tour, including Boulder.

The artist explained in the exhibit’s notes, “My intention in this installation is to display these cranes along with a list of names on a Wall of Remembrance. Viewers can scan a QR code to hear the beautiful precious memories of those loved ones lost, told by those left behind. My goal is to eventually create Memorial Crane Project installations in each U.S. state to mourn and heal collectively as a nation united in love, respect and spirit.”

Visitors in Boulder are adding their own origami. The 10 names of the Boulder shooting victims are on ribbons.

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