Friday, June 7, 2024

Colorful metallic butterflies take over streets of downtown Racine

From JSOnline:

Jane Park Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Don’t be surprised if you encounter a garden of colorful, metallic butterflies on the streets of downtown Racine. With an official unveiling on June 7, this public flight of butterflies marks Downtown Racine Corporation’s 23rd annual public art project.  

The butterflies are clustered around the intersection of 6th and Main St. 

The artwork is meant to spark local joy and connect the community with local artists, according to Kelly Kruse, executive director of the DRC.  

Downtown Racine Corporation collaborated on the butterfly wings with Green Hills Metal Werks, which created the wing designs, and Kyle Worzala of Gateway Technical College and students from his welding class, who produced the bases of the butterflies.  

According to Worzala, this project presented students with the opportunity to utilize their skills outside of the classroom and give back to the community. He hopes this exhibition will also encourage prospective students to enroll in Gateway’s welding program.

The butterfly artists range from full-time artists to students to mechanics. The displays are sponsored by local businesses and organizations, such as the Racine Art Museum, Red Onion Cafe and the Johnson Financial Group

Visitors can participate in an interactive scavenger hunt which asks questions about each of the 26 artworks. If participants correctly answer at least 15 questions, they will receive a $5 downtown gift card redeemable at over 100 local stores, including Lakeview Pharmacy, Divino Gelato Café and Dimple’s Fine Imports. 

Forms can be picked up at each butterfly display location, the DRC office on 425 Main St, as well as online at the Racine Downtown website. Scavenger hunt participants can then submit their forms at the DRC office. 

Some art pieces will be available for auction on the DRC website from Sept. 3 through 10. Kruse hopes that these butterflies can find new lives as cherished garden art pieces after the display. 


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