Shafer Art Gallery to host CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions Beauty and the Beetle Family Day June 23 | Barton Community College

Shafer Art Gallery to host CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions Beauty and the Beetle Family Day June 23

June 13, 2018
Story and photos by Micah Oelze

The Shafer Art Gallery will host the Cuna Mutual Retirement Solutions Art and Science Encounter Series: Beauty and the Beetle Family Day starting at 10 a.m. June 23 in the gallery. Family Day is a free event full of activities, including a puppet show performed by the StoneLion Puppet Theatre, a visit from the Kansas State University Insect Ambassador Zoo and various bug related crafts.

“In an era when the demands on educational programming are increasingly pragmatic, it is important to provide folks with an opportunity to see how important the arts are to truly understanding systems, particularly living systems,” Shafer Art Gallery Director Dave Barnes said. “The artwork of Gar Waterman begs us to wonder at the intricacy of the unseen and fall in love with its beauty. Family Day celebrates Gar’s beetles with laughter, exploration and creative activity.”

Guests will discover common backyard bugs, what it takes to create a backyard sanctuary and why it is important in the puppet show “Backyard Buggin.” Join wildlife photographer Felicia Flash and her sidekick Karma the elephant, who are back from another adventure, ready to relax in their backyard. A nap under the shade of a tree takes Felicia into an amazing ecosystem under her lawn chair as she shrinks to bug size.

Following the puppet performance, at 11 a.m. the Sunset Zoo will present The Insect Ambassadors from the Kansas State University Entomology Department. The ambassadors will do a presentation and set up an insect zoo for the attendees in the gallery, providing an opportunity for those who want to get a closer look or desire to learn more about the insect world.

The Beauty and the Beetle exhibit will also be available for families to explore. These larger than life sculptures of beetles made out of scrap metal and micro-photography of beetles on large prints allow viewers to see the intricacies of these creatures. The exhibit runs through July 6.

For those inspired by the insect world around them, a craft workshop for all ages will be available in the gallery throughout the day. The craft workshop will consist of participants creating drawings, paintings and sculptures of bugs.

An interactive micro-photography wall projection program will also be available for attendees to explore bug anatomy. The Barton biology lab loaned the gallery microscopes so guests can examine real bug parts.

This program is supported in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency and by the generous underwriting of CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions.

For more information, contact Shafer Art Gallery Director Dave Barnes at (620) 792-9342 or

Children create bugs at the craft table during the opening night reception for Beauty and the Beetle with the help of Shafer Art Gallery Associate Scott Beahm.