Lotuses grow in muddy, murky waters, rise to the surface, and unfold. They show us that transformation and beauty can emerge from challenging circumstances.

In Tibetan Buddhism, this sacred symbol is associated with purity, awakening, transformation, and compassion, and appears in many works of art in the Rubin Museum of Art’s collection.

For The Lotus Effect, the Rubin and origami artist Uttam Grandhi invite the public to fold a lotus flower and dedicate their origami creation to someone or something that has helped them overcome a challenging time. When the Rubin reopens, people can contribute their folded piece to an installation in the museum that will serve as a community-built symbol of gratitude and powerful reminder that collectively, we can emerge from difficult moments.

Here’s how you can participate in The Lotus Effect:

  1. Fold an origami lotus flower
    Watch a video of the artist or read step-by-step instructions on how to fold a paper lotus. Then, create and dedicate your lotus to someone or something that supports you through challenging times. Get creative and make it uniquely yours.
  2. Share with the Rubin
    While the museum is closed, photograph your origami lotus and share it on social media using the #TheLotusEffect and tagging @RubinMuseum.
  3. When the Rubin reopens
    Bring or mail your origami lotus to the museum to contribute to the physical installation. You can also email an image of your lotus to visitorexperience@rubinmuseum.org for a chance to see it in a digital presentation in the Rubin’s lobby.
  4. Follow along
    Follow @RubinMuseum on Instagram as the Rubin explores the lotuses depicted in their collection and Tibetan Buddhist iconography. They will also share some of the folded lotus creations sent in by the community.

For more information, visit rubinmuseum.org/thelotuseffect.