By Babs Rodriguez
This spring, while we were puzzling over how long we might be sheltering in place, we spent no small amount of time looking for activities that didn’t involve a screen. Puzzles, a noncaloric way to gather the family around the table, became a favorite in many homes. And whether it’s an ongoing, come-and-go group activity or a meditative session for one, we think the resurgence of interest will stick. Because family time, brain exercise, daily meditation — it’s all of a piece, really.
This 750-piece shaped — no flat edges — puzzle from Jonathan Adler offers more than lip service to our new addiction. Lips is packaged in a foil-stamped box with a ribbon-pull drawer, $35, jonathanadler.com.
You say 500 pieces is a snap. But there are two sides to every story — and to this puzzle. The Beach features fine art photographer Gray Malin’s bird’s-eye view of a stretch of sand on one side and an ocean reef on the other for double the fun, $25, gracioushome.com.
Frank Stella’s geometric painting Firuzabad moves from eye-popping to hands-on captivating as a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle die-cut and contoured like its namesake artwork (found in MoMA’s permanent collection), $20, store.moma.org.
The 1,000-piece puzzle of Robyn O’Neil’s work These Final Hours embrace at last; this is our ending, this is our past — owned by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth — is meditative art at its best, $30, exclusive to The Modern Shop, 3200 Darnell St., 817-738-9215, shop.themodern.org. (Online sales may be suspended temporarily; visit the website for info on the museum’s reopening.)
Liberty Puzzles transformed local artist Sarah Gentry’s Mel’s Belles into a 546-piece floral jigsaw that wowed us. Equally captivating is Kolibris, which includes signature hand-drawn, intricately cut “whimsy” shapes among the 480 pieces. $105 each, libertypuzzles.com.