Art Beat on Main Street, an art gallery in Vista, will be sending origami cranes like the ones pictured to San Francisco where they will help decorate the 11th annual World Tree of Hope. Photo courtesy Art Beat on Main Street
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Be part of the World Tree of Hope

VISTA — When the mysterious “origami guy” — for lack of a better term — approached Kait Matthews, owner of Art Beat on Main Street, with the idea to participate in the annual World Tree of Hope in San Francisco — coloring, decorating and writing messages of hope on origami cranes — it hardly seemed a difficult decision.

And so after agreeing, cranes of nearly every size began filling up the art gallery a few days ago, waiting for anyone to come in and put their own touches on them before they’re shipped up to San Francisco to hang on the tree.

“We’ve got tons of them and we’re asking all the visitors to come in,” Matthews said.

Visitors are able to pick an origami crane and can either decorate it at Art Beat or take it home and then bring it back.

The mysterious artist, who wishes to remain anonymous, (whether he’s even a he or not, Matthews remained tightlipped on), has a history of installing origami creations around business storefronts in Vista, and other cities, adding a lot of positivity in the community, according to Matthews.

And this will the first time Art Beat will be a part of it.

Matthews said the origami artist did the same thing last year, creating lots of the folded paper creations and sending them up to San Francisco, where the Tree of Hope is set up in the City Hall’s rotunda.

The World Tree of Hope is in its 11th year, and is the largest annual origami decorated holiday tree in the world, according to the Rainbow World Fund, which organizes the event.

The tree will be on display beginning Nov. 21 to Jan. 3, 2017, and be decorated by at least 15,000 cranes with messages on them received from all around the world.

Vista, Matthews hopes, will be well-represented, though she knows it’s a little bit last minute.

“We’re going to do the best we can to get as many up there as possible and get as many up there as possible with the wishes, dreams and hopes of people that color them, create them and make them artful,” Matthews said.

So far, a number of the messages on some of the finished cranes at Art Beat range between ones of love to ones of hope.

“And then some messages are personal, like wishing somebody wellness or good health, or for somebody that’s going through a hard time,” she said.

Matthews has done a few of the cranes, too, and looks to do a few more before the deadline of Oct. 31.

Art Beat on Main Street is at 330 Main Street in Vista.

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1 comment

Jeff Cotter October 24, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Dear Mysterious Artist and Art Beat,
I was delighted to read this article. I started to the World Tree of Hope 11 years ago as a symbol of hope and global unity. People from all over the world send us wishes to decorate the tree online at or by postal mail. We looking forward to receiving crane-wishes from Vista, CA. Please sent them to Rainbow World Fund, 4111 -18th Street #5, San Francisco, CA 94114. This years tree lighting ceremony at San Francisco City Hall is on Wednesday, December 7 from 5:30pm to 8pm and is open to all. We are dedicating this years ceremony to the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Two of the survivors, Angel Colon and Angel Torres will be there to light the tree. Peace, Jeff Cotter, Founder Rainbow World Fund/World Tree of Hope

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