Posted by: cindydyer | September 4, 2010

Art in the Monarch Butterfly Habitat

Article by Mary Ellen Ryall. Originally published in the Washburn County Register, September 1, 2010, page 12

A new dimension has been added to the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden in Shell Lake. Thanks to a few special people, visitors will now have an opportunity to enjoy metal and cement sculptures as they walk on the butterfly winged shaped path throughout the habitat.

Area One

The artwork in area one is a donation from a folk artist who resides in the mountains of Tennessee. Tabitha Brown, former intern from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College (LCOOCC), asked her mother if she would make a statue for the habitat. The cement form of Psyche with wire butterfly wings in glass and wood beads is the first art that visitors will see when they enter the habitat. The art looks contemporary and could be interpreted as modern. Psyche has been around from the time of classical Rome and is the only surviving full-length novel by Lucius Apuleius from that time period. The book Metamorphoses translates to butterfly metamorphoses.

Area two

Corey Wolf’s father from Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation is an artist and sign maker. Brown worked with her father-in-law and she designed the back of the sign. Wolf donated the colorful swallowtail butterfly sign which can be seen from Route 63. LCOOCC Intern Brennan Harrington made the peeled log frame from trees on his property in Stone Lake.

A metal sculpture of a sunflower was placed in area two. Donor and artist Rochelle Becker had given the sculpture to Ryall when she was going through the difficult stages of her husband’s illness. The sculpture now resides in the habitat for all to enjoy.

Area three

A metal sculpture of a tulip by artist William F. Colburn, Jr. of Fairhope, Alabama, has been set in the Memory Tree Grove on the northern end of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The artwork is a memorial for Willard H. DeJong, late husband of Happy Tonics founder Mary Ellen Ryall. DeJong was originally from Holland and tulips are the country’s famed flower. The metal sculpture was made possible by donors Ann Stambek, Diane Dryden and Bobbie and Bootsie Bailey of Shell Lake, Nancy Herman of Yellow Rivers Advertising, McGregor, MN, and Erica Hohos of Worcester, MA.

Happy Tonics, Inc. is grateful for the outpouring of kindness from members and friends near and far.

Photo captions, from left:
1) Psyche with Butterfly Wings; 2) Swallowtail sign by Corey Wolf’s father, Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation; 3) Metal sculpture tulip by William F. Colburn, Jr., and 4) Art sculpture sunflower by Rochelle Becker

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