Student artists spread their wings
Their butterfly art projects will be on display before and during Mayfest.
Tulsa International Mayfest doesn’t just bring out professional artists. It also brings out the art inside of kids.
For the second straight year, Mayfest’s outreach to children in Tulsa includes students at Hawthorne Elementary School, who lost their art teacher to budget cuts two years ago.
Through a special twomonth afterschool program, fifth- and sixth-graders at Hawthorne, 1105 E. 33rd Street North, have been exploring the life cycle and ecological threats to the monarch butterfly through art.
Also sponsored by WPX Energy, the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa and Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative, the program has brought resident artists in to help students create unique art pieces that will be displayed in a special Mayfest gallery.
Among a host of butterfly paintings will be sixth-grader Chaynetria Ray’s painting of a caterpillar that has not yet become a monarch.
She opted for something different “because of the face on it — I thought I would make it look happy. Happy about getting ready to travel.”
Resident artist Lauren “Rainbow” Lunsford has been teaching the Hawthorne students about the decline of monarch butterflies throughout North America because of habitat loss from development, farming practices, invasive species competition and the overuse of pesticides and herbicides.
Students painted clay pots and planted milkweed plants, which provide nectar and pollen not only for monarchs but other types of butterflies and other pollinators like bumblebees, beetles and moths.
Visitors to the student gallery can pick up milkweed seeds to help create homes for monarchs in their own gardens.
“We recommend that all visitors to Mayfest make sure and check out the gallery,” said Heather Pingry, executive director at Tulsa International Mayfest. “It’s exciting to see the work the children can create when given the opportunity.”
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470