Secondary School Science Class
Moth Drawing Installations
The image on the left was created in a Family Fun Moth event. The public and younger children were invited to take part in a short presentation on how cool and important moths are! Images that displayed exciting moth wing patterns from the locale were discussed and after, everyone created their own style of moth. Each unique and important drawing was then cut out and pinned to a nearby tree. The installation was left up for the host family to appreciate and the community to discuss.
Outreach and Engagment
Cultural shifts begin in small steps and must include everyone, Jeff Schmuki and the PlantBot Genetics Collective define outreach and engagement as the various ways we collaborate with external groups in mutually beneficial partnerships that are grounded in entertaining yet informative art and environmental activities the whole family can enjoy. The actions we take individually become more powerful movement when we all act together.
Using photos we have collected from across the nation, we workshop with local communities to create wheat-paste moth murals. At first glance, these bright colored murals seem festive and remind the viewer of contemplative mandalas. Upon closer examination, the patterns in the design become clear. Each mandala is created from multiple large photographs of moths.
These bright, playful large installations invite everyone to learn about the importance and beauty of insects. The amazing details, colors, and patterns that are important to each moth's survival.
These collaborative events not only create a beautiful wall but draws connections between personal action and ecological issues of vital importance to both humans and pollinators alike.
Faculty outreach rooted in scholarship enhances teaching, research, creative work and service while addressing larger societal issues. For students, community engagement and service projects link campus teaching and learning to civic responsibility and community well being. For communities, partnering with the arts, we increase our capacity to address important social, economic and cultural issues. At their best, outreach and engagement activities provide significant learning and growth opportunities to faculty, students, staff, and partnering communities. Whether through research projects, teaching activities, civic engagement or service learning, the reciprocal nature of outreach and engagement enriches both our academic mission and the communities we serve.
Moth Project Events and Dinners
Moth Project Events, Gardens, and Dinners get communities excited about backyard naturalism and pollinators. The decline of both has an immediate impact on the quality of our food. It is not a coincidence that our interest in what is going on in our yards and our insect populations have plummeted since the hay day in the early 1900's. Bee populations alone are down 60% since 1950 and other insect numbers have also declined.
The more private "Mothing Dinner Parties" invite us into backyard gardens. Often the invitation is extended by the host to members of their immediate community, like neighbors, family and close friends. After a wonderful dinner supplied by the host and great conversation, we spend time identifying and sharing the insects that have come to the insect tents. Participants learn about their local nighttime pollinators and other information important to our food and environment while sharing a pleasant experience with friendly people and great food.
Both our private Backyard Dinner Parties and Public Moth Interventions/Gardens promote a renewed interest in our insects and are an opportunity to share your garden, break bread with friends and family, and learn the importance of pollinators in a casual and fun event for everyone.