This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 26, 2011 - Maine-based artist Carrie Scanga's "Breathe" is one of the most successful installations in recent memory to grace Craft Alliance's Grand Center.
Using the slightest of materials -- translucent yellow tracing paper -- Scanga has built a hive-like vault that embraces viewers and transforms the gallery's light and atmosphere.
In the space near the gallery's large windows, dozens of yellow paper boxes float freely, suspended by threads; viewers are invited to inflate a box with their breath before inserting a written wish.
"Breathe" is simple, graceful, as light as air and as bright as sunshine; its effects are subtle yet moving.
Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic.