Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
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From home and schools to store windows and Christmas trees When Mrs. Kondo's second daughter, Nina, entered kindergarten, her teacher asked Mrs. Kondo to teach origami to the class. "Even though I didn't feel qualified, I couldn't say no," explains Mrs. Kondo of her first foray into teaching children other than her own. As soon as word got out about the Kindergarteners' wonderful experience, Mrs. Kondo was asked and reluctantly agreed to teach origami to students in every grade at her children's school from Kindergarten through sixth grade. Mrs. Kondo and origami were a hit. It wasn't until a few years later, after Mrs. Kondo met and studied with Lillian Oppenheimer — the woman credited for popularizing origami in the West in the 1950s — that Mrs. Kondo finally accepted her gift as an origami teacher. Mrs. Kondo learned from her mentor the sto- rytelling approach to teaching and found it a surefire way to spark the "magic" of origami. With new skills and confidence, Mrs. Kondo taught private lessons and led groups at schools, arts and craft shows, multi- cultural festivals, and museums, including at the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Kondo coordinated origami displays at venues in her backyard of New York and New Jersey and all the way to Pennsylvania and Hawaii. Her creations graced store windows, libraries, museums, Christmas trees, and the PBS show Reading Rainbow. No matter where Mrs. Kondo spread her love of origami, she gar- nered praise. The esteemed Lillian Oppenheimer wrote Mrs. Kondo a letter of recommendation to use as her calling card: To Whom It May Concern: It is my pleasure to write on behalf of Kyoko Kondo, whom I have known for the past ten years. She is an ardent exponent of the 156 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 Statue of Liberty Designed by David Shall at 1986 Origami Convention P E T E R B A K E R S T U D I O S E T H A N K . C H A P M A N artist profile "her love of origami" Cherry Blossoms Designed by Akira Yoshizawa Mrs. Kondo studied with the famous Japanese master, often called the "Father of Origami as an Art Form" 154-162_WWMb14_artist profile_kkondo_v3_WellesleyWeston Magazine 4/25/14 12:01 PM Page 156