NEW PALTZ - Visitors to Mohonk Mountain House's annual Tulip Festival, held April 25-May 8, will find a surprise among the blooms this year: wire sculptures created by students from SUNY Ulster’s visual and fine arts program.
Bees, butterflies and other carefully crafted sculptures depicting insects have been set amongst the 20,000 colorful tulips planted in Mohonk’s gardens.
The collaboration between SUNY Ulster's students and the nearby resort offered the young artists a chance to show off their creations in a natural setting.
“I have a fascination with beetles, so that’s why I chose a stag beetle," said Laurel Burch, 18, a visual arts major.
Students were charged with researching and creating an accurate model of their chosen insects. “One of the objectives of the assignment was to create as realistic a version of the insect as they could … obviously not life-size, but they had to blow it up in scale. When you do that, you have to work on issues of proportion and structure,” said Joan Ffolliott, an instructor for the class.
The 14 students in the project then created sculptures ranging from 10 inches to over two feet tall. Mohonk staff placed the "insects" among the flowers to blend seamlessly into the gardens.
As part of the festival, visitors can take hikes with the resort's onsite naturalist, see food demonstrations, participate in daily crafts projects, hear live music and more. Events are open to overnight guests, but the grounds are also accessible with day passes. Reservations are required, whether for day passes or overnight. The sculptures will remain on the grounds for a few months beyond the end of the festival.
If you go
What: Mohonk Mountain House Tulip Festival
When: April 25 - May 8
Where: Mohonk Mountain House, 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz
Info: 855-883-3798, mohonk.com
Jared Castañeda is a freelance writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: SUNY Ulster art students create sculptures for Mohonk Tulip Festival