THE ARTIST’S MOTH MIGRATION PROJECT OPENS AT 516 ARTS
Crowdsourced Installation Includes More Than 10,000 Handmade Moths From Around the World
In a world of divisiveness, it was humbling to be a small part of a project that had the potential to create a spirit larger than any single community. —Joyce Stewart, Dripping Springs, Texas, USA
I love that a crowdsourced project asked for a small work of art instead of funding. The idea of thousands of tiny moths flying in from around the world is fabulous—many hands making light work into a huge project. —Alanna Baird, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada
SSB is pleased to announce the unveiling of multidisciplinary artist Hilary Lorenz’s Moth Migration Project, an internationally crowdsourced exhibition of more than 10,000 handmade, printed, drawn, and cut paper moths created by individuals and groups around the world. The ongoing project is a part of the exhibition Cross Pollination, curated by Valerie Royal at 516 Arts, with the opening reception on August 19th from 6–8 PM. 516 Arts is located at 516 Central Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM.
Last year, Lorenz put out an open call “heard ‘round the world,” inviting people to create moths native to their geographic location. Having no idea what the response would be, she was floored when the project exploded with thousands of submissions, satellite exhibitions, printmaking workshops, school art projects, and family and community gatherings. Hundreds of people have participated and more than 13,500 moths (at last count!) have poured into her studio from Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Bermuda. Close to 4,500 moths have come in from Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand alone; and the US and UK are not far behind, with more than 3,500 handmade moths coming from each country.
The visually stunning and staggering variety of the moths in all types of media—hand-drawn, linocut, silkscreen, paper-cut, gel print—will be featured in the 516 installation.
Choosing moths—a nocturnal pollinator—as the metaphor for cross-pollination, connection, and international exchange, the visual effect of the massive installation is a migration map representing the people from 26 countries that participated in co-creating this unique collaborative project.
As Lorenz puts it, “Crowdsourcing dramatically changed my role and my artistic practice. As an artist, I almost always work alone. Now, I feel a bit like a conductor holding it together, but allowing each person to roll with their own idea. I could not, nor did I want to control everything. I had to let it evolve, grow, and change, which is difficult for me. I had a vision, but I knew that if I let everyone in, it would be far more magnificent.
Hilary Lorenz is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the intersections of running, nature, and solitude. Recent solo exhibitions include Birding (2016), commissioned by Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY; Lean to Me: My Own Wilderness Fantasy (2015), Courthouse Gallery, Lake George, NY; and Nomadic Geographies (2014), Wave Hill, NY. Recent residencies include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Art Center at Governors Island (2016); C-Scape National Seashore in Provincetown (2016); and Outpost Studios in Kansas (2014). Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Kansas City Star and many others. Lorenz is a Fulbright and NEA fellow with an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa.