On a blustery February day in Colorado, we are warmed by spring-like images of the giant butterfly kaleidoscope kinetic mobile we designed in collaboration with the Indianapolis Zoo’s Creative Services staff. Shown above through bright pink tropical flowers, the mobiles hang in the warm, Eden-like paradise of the Hilbert Conservatory at White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Like all of our Hanging Art Mobiles, the translucent, jewel-toned fabric panels catch the air currents and light in the Conservatory. For the Zoo, our intention was to make visitors feel as though they have stepped into a massive kaleidoscope – and to mimic the flight of the 40 species of butterflies that will float through the Conservatory come March. The Hilbert Conservatory is a great place to visit, relax and take in the lush, tropical environment – even in the middle of winter. The warmth of the indoor gardens is a great place for everyone, young and old to beat cabin fever and chase away the chill. The Conservatory offers a beautiful view of the natural beauty of the outdoor gardens, and depending on when you visit, different flora and fauna will be in bloom (see the Zoo’s What’s Blooming Now page).
The Zoo’s butterflies have been on hiatus since 2011, but the brand new show means the Conservatory has metamorphosed into a dazzling array of glass panels in anticipation of their return. The Horticulture staff is redesigning the landscape, adding hundreds of tropical and nectar plants, creating new water features and incorporating brightly colored glass to echo the kaleidoscope theme throughout the exhibit – and to welcome the butterflies!
The butterfly chamber was installed at the end of January. If you’ve been to the Butterfly House before, you’ll note that the chamber is located in a new place within the Conservatory and tiled with a brand new, brightly colored mosaic to reflect the colors of the rest of the display. In February and March, the exhibit will continue to grow. The exhibit will include inspiration and ideas on how to attract native butterflies to your own backyard.
Glowing hues of glass and copper butterfly feeders hand blown by local artisans at Gloria’s Glass Garden will be popping up all over (shown left, available at their Etsy store). Giant butterflies and caterpillars (also created by Banner Art Studio) will guide you from outside the Conservatory into this artistic world of light and color.
The full-blown exhibit is set for completion on March 22, 2013, but the Zoo encourages the public to visit now. The Hilbert Conservatory is open Tuesday through Sunday and will be featuring the twirling butterfly kaleidoscope mobile, and the butterfly exhibit in progress. Visit often and see if you can spot the newest additions!
After March 22, each day new butterflies will be released from the chamber. Young and old can tour the interactive exhibits to learn about the amazing metamorphosis of these magical creatures. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning colors and delicate details, and send us some of your pictures! We’d be delighted to take in the tropical scenery vicariously.
Banner Art Studio has been designing hanging fabric art and indoor kinetic mobiles to brighten interior spaces for 30 years. Our clients include world-class hospitals, museums, Universities, corporations and nationally-recognized Downtown Districts.
The pure colors of the fabric we use react with natural and manmade light to enhance the atmosphere of architectural interiors, atrium spaces, entryways and modern high ceilings. The suspended banners, fabric sculptures and fabric mobile art are ideal for adding life to a zoo exhibit, tying together themes, and uniting people with a common purpose. “My job as a ‘banner’ designer is to represent the highest aspirations of my clients and to give them a ‘banner’ to unite the group,” says Mettje Swift, founder and lead artist at Banner Art Studio. “Banners & hanging mobiles adorn architectural spaces, but most importantly, represent pride.”
See the finished product, and learn about the process through an interview with our client Jo Hohlbein, here.
See more of our work in our Galleries.
Contact us today to discuss your project!