The Monarch Migration Project:
An Art Glass Sculpture in a Children’s Park and Playground in Kansas City, Missouri, USA
My name is Kathy Barnard and I am an artist working in glass who is passionate about color and light. I have been working in art glass and architecture for over 30 years. I started etching and carving glass in the late 1970’s learning through experimentation and invention (in other words, I’m self taught.) I also create art glass pieces in colored and stained glass for commissions throughout the United States. You can see photos of some of my pieces here on Kickstarter (as my donor rewards) or on my website (www.KathyBarnardStudio.com) where you can see the beauty and variety of past works.
I am raising money to create an art piece focused around the annual migration of the Monarch butterflies. The piece will be an outdoor art glass sculpture that I will install as my gift to the Northeast Community Center which started the “School of New Life – Scuola Vita Nuova”. I have several other carved glass and tile murals within the school that have various educational themes designed to teach and inspire the children. The sculptural piece will be an extension of that educational process through art. This piece will be BEAUTIFUL, educational, and most of all – FUN!
The Kansas City area lies within the migratory path of the Monarch butterflies. Many groups, including Scuola Vita Nuova have created butterfly gardens to lure migrating Monarchs so as to witness one of nature’s most fascinating phenomena. Additionally the butterfly gardens serve as learning tools for children, teaching them about the environment and butterfly facts like the following: Did you know it takes four generations of Monarchs, from caterpillar to adulthood, to make this migratory journey in the spring to the north for the summer months? And then only one adult Monarch will make the 2600 mile return flight back to Mexico and Central America, their winter home! This is such an intriguing story that National Geographic devoted an entire segment to it in their “Great Migration” series this past year.
My idea for this piece is a laminated art glass sculpture having one large bright orange and black Monarch butterfly set in a field of brilliant blue. In addition, there will be many smaller Monarchs flying within a dynamic design of graceful swirls of red glass indicating the migratory path of the butterflies with the colors of blue and green glass illustrating the oceans and land-forms of North, South and Central America. I have rendered the design in pastels on paper, but nothing on paper can illustrate the intensity and beauty of art glass, especially when viewed in sunlight.
The children’s park where the sculpture will be installed is on the grounds of the Northeast Community Center that started the inner – city charter school, – “The School of New Life” . The School’s philosophy is to use “The Arts” to enrich the soul, stimulate the mind, and unlock their creative potential.
As important as it is to teach children about science and nature, it is equally as important to expose them to the arts. Studies show that children who grow up in blighted environments, having limited access to the arts, are more likely to suffer from depression and turn to self-harming behaviors. Coincidentally, youthful offenders who are exposed to the arts change their negative behaviors with resulting recidivism rates dropping to 20%. Obviously exposing children to the arts have life long positive benefits. This project is one way I hope to contribute to those benefits.
This is intended to be used as a means of educating children about science and nature through art thus serving the mission of the school. First the children will be drawn to the piece by the mere size and brilliance of the main Monarch butterfly, but as they look closer they will see that the sculpture also tells the story of the butterflies’ migration. All through the beauty of art!
The wings of the large Monarch butterfly will be pierce cut into metal by international sculpture artist and local resident, Asheer Akram. I will then embed my art glass into the wings that extend outside the frame work of the base. The large Monarch will appear to be flying right through the edges of its metal support! Way Cool!
The sculpture will allow children the unique opportunity to move totally around the piece and to view it from all angles and perspectives. Imagine the colors shooting across the park and playground! As if that is not enough, embedded in the frame and base of the sculpture will be the “Story of the Monarch Metamorphosis” – from caterpillar to chrysalis into the adult butterfly. WOW! A little bit of nature, a little bit of science, and a WHOLE LOT OF ART!
I have been invited by Derix Art Glass Studio of Taunusstein, Germany to participate as an artist in residence for one month. (www.Derix.com) Derix has developed new and innovative techniques allowing them to be among the only people in the world able to transform the typically fragile nature of glass into a durable, nearly indestructible medium. These are techniques that I cannot do in my studio in Kansas City. Through engineering and invention, the craftsmen at Derix Studio have developed a way to laminate art glass onto a heavy carrier sheet of extremely strong and durable clear glass to create pieces that are suitable for outdoor installations and that can stand alone as freestanding sculptures
I plan on using my time at Derix to complete the Monarch art glass sculpture. Through the LIAEP Grant (Linda Lighton International Artist Exchange Program) administered by the Kansas City Artists Coalition -
I have already been awarded a grant to fund my travel and lodging in Germany, but I would like to raise additional funds to create this unique and substantial art glass sculpture. I am donating my time and efforts and YOUR donations through Kickstarter will fund the hard costs - the materials used in the creation, fabrication and installation of this unique laminated art glass piece, it’s steel base and frame, and the on site installation at the children’s park and butterfly garden.
My fundraising goal for this project is $22,000. If substantial extra funding is raised, it is my desire to create additional Monarch sculptures for children which will be placed in various other butterfly gardens, parks and playgrounds around the city. Each will be individually hand made and unique to itself although similar and relative in content. I would particularly love to be able to expand the scope of the artwork to become a sort of “sculptural art glass sundial”. Wherein the large butterfly charts the time of the day and season as the sun flows through it and projects the color of the butterfly upon the surrounding area.
Unfortunately the site for the initial installation at the community center does not have enough courtyard space for the sundial effect, but wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to build a series of interrelated sculptures sharing the Monarch Migration Story with children all over the area & beyond!
The pieces that I am offering in appreciation for your donations to my project are listed in the “REWARDS” section of this site. It is my desire to design fun and beautiful items for your selection. Your choices range from decals featuring my Monarch and Dragonfly designs, my art glass note cards ( see Stillwater National Bank on my web site, http://kathybarnardstudio.com/sitev1/stillwater.html to t-shirts again featuring your choice of the Monarch or Dragonfly design.
GO TO THIS LINK TO VIEW ALL YOUR REWARD CHOICES --------
You can also choose hand-cut and carved clear crystal glass pendants that you can give as a gift for any occasion or to hang in a window anywhere in the world.
I have created over 20 different designs from which to choose. You can select 1 or 100, I will make as many as you want with the corresponding donation level for each. For more generous donation amounts, I have small table-top mini sculptures of thick, polished, clear crystal glass with hand cut designs, several different sizes and styles of vases, goblets and bowls, as well as a hand made dragonfly colored art glass panel. These rewards are my personal “thank you” for helping me achieve my goal of creating this piece.
GO TO THIS LINK TO VIEW ALL YOUR REWARD CHOICES --------
Please feel free to check this internet link to see pictures of the rewards and other selections of my work.
As an added bonus, each donor will be able to follow the progress of the Monarch Project on the blog on my web site. I will document its progress from the beginning to the installation. ( http://kathybarnardstudio.com/blog.htm )
As you are aware, fundraising on Kickstarter is an “ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL” situation. If you decide to participate in my project, let me thank you now. I hope that you will enjoy the pieces that I will make for you. I really appreciate your willingness to support me in bringing this exciting sculpture to my community, a project made for the total enjoyment of the children and the wonder and curiosity of both children and adults.
You can see more cool stuff and awesome installations on my web site at www.KathyBarnardStudio.com Follow me on TWITTER (KBarnardStudio) and my FACEBOOK pages
credit - still art glass photos by Hollis Officer Studio
(Kathy Barnard - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=789798878
(Kathy Barnard Studio- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathy-Barnard-Studio/179079512121449). I will be posting updates on my website blog.
Help us and HAVE SOME FUN!
Knowing you have helped to make something MAGICAL!
- (60 days)