Welcome to WildCard exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco

A cardboard building at Welcome to WildCard at the Exloratorium
An image of a rotating cardboard building at Welcome to WildCard at the Exloratorium.

Post contributed by Lisa Crovo Dion

If you have kids or remember what it’s like to be one, you understand the playtime value of a cardboard box.

Through September 4th, Welcome to WildCard, is on display at San Francisco’s pioneering science-meets-arts space, the Exploratorium. Bring a few kids, like I did, or retreat into your own childhood solo but you well definitely want to indulge in this fantastic display of craft and whimsy.

Artists from CIT, (the Cardboard Institute of Technology), armed with glue guns, scissors, box cutters and pure imagination, have created a visionary landscape made entirely of cardboard.

Meander slowly through this alternative universe on a trip down a compostable version of Route 66 that’s enhanced with moody lighting and sounds.

On display at Welcome to WildCard at the Exloratorium
A cardboard hillside at the WildCard exhibit at the Exloratorium in San Francisco.

Within the universe is a village in a vortex, a steamboat casino on a blue river, peepholes into the underworld, a desert motel, lush forests, and fiery volcanoes.

Be sure to look closely to discover surprise gems tucked away in plain sight including — the prehistoric Cardhenge, a cardboard version of Stonehenge, a massive cardboard bird leg, the Hunny Bucket Outhouse (open the little outhouse door and peek inside), the swimming pool at the WildCard motel, and graffiti scrawled on the water tower.

CIT artist Joshua Short explains why he likes using cardboard as a medium, “It’s free, easy to work with, and limitless as far as what you can do with it. You can create whimsical and magical things.”  

I strongly recommend visiting the WildCard website before attending the exhibit to learn more about it and what hidden gems to look for. There are also cool videos and links that showcase the artists and their workspace.

Exloratorium in San Francisco
Exploratorium, the interactive science/art museum in San Francisco.

Pier 15
(Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 528-4444

Photos by Lisa Crovo Dion. I was a guest of the Exploratorium.

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