Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

Ah! The Wonder That is the Butterfly! Gentleness. Beauty. Fragility.

We admire butterflies for these qualities, hardly understanding that we depend upon them for our very existence. We may love them for their beauty and grace — and perhaps even for their tenacity and bravery, in spite of their fragility — not realizing that they may be the natural foundation upon which our entire world stands…like ants and bees. We depend upon pollinators, such as butterflies, to bear us some of the most precious fruits of the plant world. Remove the pollinators and the natural order collapses!

This installation is a celebration of the marvelous beauty of butterflies! It is also a clarion call for us to wake up and understand that we must endeavor to protect the most vulnerable among us. Our willingness and ability to protect such fragility and grace and beauty — to make a space for gentleness and vulnerability — will be the measure of our worthiness to play a continuing (and honorable) role in creation. It will determine our survival as a species.

We, along with the hundreds who have collaborated to create this installation, have taken what is considered “waste” in our society and made a thing of beauty. Each of these butterflies was individually hand-crafted, passing through the hands of hundreds of helpers. We did this together! And our carbon footprint was kept at a minimum! Of course, special thanks must go out to a dedicated crew of dozens, who believed enough in this art-piece and in the natural wonders it celebrates, to lend many hours of their precious time and painstaking, often repetitive, hand-work that it required. Not to mention all of the problem-solving along the way. Thank you ALL!

We have up-cycled as much of our raw materials as possible. We have made an engaging thing of wonder and homage to nature! Now, let us go forth and do the hard work of protecting what is most fragile, gentle and beautiful!