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Brides-to-be Submit 15,000 Plus Origami Cranes for Free Wedding Competition

Origami Cranes at the Crow Collection of Asian Art (photo by Paul Go)

Origami Cranes at the Crow Collection of Asian Art (photo by Paul Go)

Brides-to-be were recently challenged to make origami cranes for a chance at a free wedding at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in the Arts District. The springtime competition 1000 Cranes, 1000 Years of Happiness raked in more than 15,000 cranes, while the most bountiful paper-folding bride submitted 7,000 cranes.

According to ancient Japanese legend, anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the folder, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple.

The winning bride, Rebekah Rutledge, folded a whopping 7,000 cranes. Her free wedding will get underway in April 2012 against the beautiful backdrop of the Crow Collection.

Runner-up bride and Dallas native Cassandra Blazewicz submitted 2,345 cranes with the help of her relatives in Sendai, Japan (sister city to Dallas). The cranes were created from discarded newspapers covering the Great Tohuku Earthquake and Tsunami. She dedicated the cranes to the people of the Tohuku area. Cassandra’s wedding ceremony took place July 31, 2011, at the Crow Collection. She and her husband currently live in Sendai.

“Our North Texas brides really embraced this challenge both emotionally and through their ambitious results making the origami cranes,” said Amy Hofland, director of the Crow Collection of Asian Art. ”We anticipate a beautiful wedding for Rebekah and her fiancé Stephen Kirkpatrick. What a great story they’ll have to tell their grandchildren.”

About 3,000 origami cranes, including the newspaper cranes from Sendai, are currently on display in the Crow Collection’s SkyBridge through January 23, 2012 (Chinese New Year).

“I’m still in shock and can’t believe I won,” said winning bride Rebekah Rutledge. “My friends, family and fiancé were unbelievably supportive, and I could not have done it without their hard-working, origami-making hands. Having our wedding at the Crow Collection is a dream come true. One of my bridesmaids came in from California and ended up seeing very little of Dallas, but she knows how to make an origami crane.”

About 1000 Cranes, 1000 Years of Happiness

Thousand origami cranes (Senbazuru) is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Japan, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person’s wish come true. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the folder, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be gifted to a new baby for long life and good luck. Hanging a Senbazuru in one’s home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm.

About the Crow Collection

The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Dallas Arts District. The Crow Collection offers a variety of spaces and galleries with changing exhibitions of the arts of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia spanning from the ancient to the contemporary. The museum offers a serene setting for quiet reflection, shared learning, and unexpected fun. The upcoming Asian Sculpture Garden, will feature traditional Japanese landscaping, new Asian art acquisitions, and additional works from the museum’s collection.

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