An Aisle Seat Review ART! Review: Thinking “Outside the Box” is What These Artists Do — by Cari Lynn Pace

Give a child a hammer, and the child will find his or her expression in everything needs pounding.

Give an artist a plain wooden box, and the artist will find expression through its painting, deconstruction, carving, etching, repositioning, reconstruction, or through attachments.

The results turn out as wild, wacky, stunningly beautiful, inspiring, or just plain whimsical wall or display artworks.

Which begs the question, “Was that even a box, to begin with?”

“Love in the Time of Corona Virus” by Barry Willis

Check out what started as 150 identical shoe-size wood boxes at Gallery Route One in Pt. Reyes Station. Bay Area artists and local community members seized upon their vivid imaginations to create three-dimensional eye candy for the 21st Annual Box Show. This fundraiser (all the pieces are up for auction) has become a highly competitive Bay Area tradition and is on view now through September 12th.

…every year, the submissions increase in variety and technical skill…

Naturally, due to the pandemic, visitors must make an appointment to ensure social distancing, and everyone must wear a mask. Here is the good news: admission is free. Viewing times,  color photos of all entries, and docent comments are available at

“Japanese House”
by Dan Williams.


This sheer size of this show makes for an exhausting — yet undeniably entertaining — exhibit. To this reviewer, it seems like every year, the submissions increase in variety and technical skill, with many bursting forth in scope and content from a “shadow box” presentation. However, look in another direction, and other pieces are re-creations or re-imaginings of the box itself.

“Homage to Kelp”
by Jaine Kopp

Artists worked for two months to make a statement, tell a story, or both. If the artwork presents viewers with a challenge to spot the original pine box, find clues in the artist’s comments and color photos at

Homebase for the Box Show is at Gallery Route One, a non-profit arts organization — and regional landmark since 1983 — adjacent to the entry for Marin County’s Point Reyes National Seashore in Point Reyes Station.

“Pine Box in Altered State”
by Will Thoms

Sales from the Box Show fund a variety of worthy outreach programs addressing art education, environmental, immigration, and social justice issues. Bidding for art pieces in the 2020 Box Show starts at $30 and culminates in the final live auction in the gallery’s parking lot (if allowed by regulations) on Saturday, September 12th, from 3 to 5 PM.


ASR Editor Cari Lynn Pace is a member of SFBATCC and writes theatre and lifestyle reviews for the Marinscope Community Newspapers throughout Marin County.