"Love Motel for Insects" by Internationally Known Artist and Biologist Brandon Ballengée
During the summer of 2016, LPAC was thrilled to part of “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation and Pollinator Garden” by artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée. This project involved a temporary public art installation at the site of the Laramie Depot in Laramie’s historic downtown. “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation and Pollinator Garden” became the location for a series of public programs with the artist and was part of the exhibition, “WASTE LAND: A Survey of Works by Brandon Ballengée, 1996-2016,” at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.
“Love Motel for Insects” is an ongoing series of international public art installations that Ballengée has created over the last 10 years to provide situations between humans and arthropods. The works use ultraviolet lights on enormous sculpted canvases to attract insects and create an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen.
The pollinator garden is a permanent perennial bed planned by a consortium of organizations that includes the Laramie Depot Board, Laramie Garden Club, Laramie Main Street Alliance, Laramie Parks and Recreation, Laramie Public Art Coalition, Union Pacific Railroad, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute. Volunteers planted the garden along the length of the train at Depot Park. Children and adult participants learned which plants attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, participated in hands-on activities and displays by partnering organizations, and created artwork during a Bug Boot Camp for kids.
The pollinator garden was coordinated by the Laramie Garden Club, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute. Partners for the Pollinator Week Festival include Albany County Master Gardeners, High Plains Seed Library, Laramie Garden Club, beekeeper Jesse Taylor, U.S. Forest Service, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute.
The “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation and Pollinator Garden” is funded, in part, by the Laramie Beautification Committee, Laramie Parks and Recreation, Laramie River Conservation District, Union Wireless, UW Art Museum Gala funds, UW Biodiversity Institute and Wyoming Public Media.
Information from UW news: http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2016/06/uw-art-museum-presents-love-motel-for-insects-and-pollinator-garden-in-laramies-depot-park.html