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UW Art Museum Presents ‘Love Motel for Insects and Pollinator Garden’ in Laramie’s Depot Park

June 14, 2016

Artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée will install the temporary public artwork, “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation and Pollinator Garden,” the week of June 20 at Laramie’s Depot Park.

The installation begins a series of public programs that will culminate in an exhibition, “Waste Land: A Survey of Works by Brandon Ballengée, 1996-2016,” at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

The “Love Motel for Insects” will be on view June 25-Sept. 17. A pollinator garden is planned to complement it and will be planted Tuesday, June 21, at 10 a.m. in celebration of “Pollinator Awareness Week and Festival.”

“Love Motel for Insects” is an ongoing series of international public art installations that Ballengée has created over the last 10 years to provide situations between humans and arthropods. The works use ultraviolet lights on enormous sculpted canvases to attract insects and create an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen.

The pollinator garden is a permanent perennial bed planned by a consortium of organizations that includes the Laramie Depot Board, Laramie Garden Club, Laramie Main Street Alliance, Laramie Parks and Recreation, Laramie Public Art Coalition, Union Pacific Railroad, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute.

Volunteers can help plant the pollinator garden in front of the train at Depot Park Tuesday, June 21. Participants will learn which plants attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; participate in hands-on activities and displays by partnering organizations; and create Pollinator Week artwork. Activities are appropriate for children and adults.

The pollinator garden has been coordinated by the Laramie Garden Club, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute. Partners for the festival include Albany County Master Gardeners, High Plains Seed Library, Laramie Garden Club, beekeeper Jesse Taylor, U.S. Forest Service, UW Art Museum and UW Biodiversity Institute.

The “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation and Pollinator Garden” is funded, in part, by the Laramie Beautification Committee, Laramie Parks and Recreation, Laramie River Conservation District, Union Wireless, UW Art Museum Gala funds, UW Biodiversity Institute and Wyoming Public Media.

For more information, call the Art Museum at (307) 766-6622, visit the website at, or follow the museum on Facebook and Instagram.

Through its “Museum as Classroom” approach, the UW Art Museum places art at the center of learning for all ages. Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday hours are extended to 7 p.m. February through April and September through November. Admission is free.

steam engine and cars in the dark with glowing blue sections

A sketch of the public art installation, “Love Motel for Insects: Laramie Railroad Depot Variation,” by Brandon Ballengée for Laramie’s Depot Park. (Brandon Ballengée)

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