Installations

After The Butterfly Project programming, schools and organizations get to create a permanent artwork of their own that becomes part of the collective count of butterflies displayed worldwide. All of these memorial installations, whether small murals or large scale sculptures are composed of ceramic butterflies and are collectively counted to reach 1.5 million ceramic butterflies worldwide; one for each child who was killed in the Holocaust. The art-making and installations are tangible ways to link the stories to be remembered, serving as visual reminders for the learner to find their empowered voice for justice today. The Butterfly Project impacts the entire school and broader community to engage in thoughtful dialogue about the elements of respect, diversity and inclusion required for a more hopeful future.

South Orangetown Elementary School NY


Nicole Nocon, TBP Ambassador, Cottbus Germany

Symbolism and Renewal

The powerful symbolism of each painted butterfly fired in a kiln with the other butterflies to emerge renewed, glazed and shiny, ready for display is a remarkably impactful experience. Imaginations get fired up as teams of students, teachers, parents, artists and local leaders find locations and ways to proudly showcase what their community has created, often with plans to grow year over year.

Robbins Lane Elementary School, Syosset, NY (2018)

Common Artistic Journey Brings Collective Responsibility

When individuals share a common artistic journey, as in this program, collective responsibility can be gained, helping the community to more effectively stand up to injustice, hatred and racism. We are here to coach you through the process, the memorial installations are a permanent legacy for a more peaceful world.

Montgomery Middle School, EL Cajon San Diego CA

One Installation Can Have Many Areas of Impact

Public works of art serve several objectives:

  • Art connects us to humanity and the human call for justice. Our butterflies raise awareness of the history of the Holocaust, the dangers of hatred and bigotry and the power of one person to make a difference in creating a better world.
  • Lasting beautification of the community. Dynamic works of art serve as a magnet for the community, an engaging and inviting gathering space where important dialogue about peace, inclusivity and hope can be provided.  
  • Opportunity for ongoing learning and education.

An Installation 4 Years in the Making

by Emily Wagner Hodson Educator Allisonville Elementary, Indiana

In 2017, Craig Prater of the Heartland International Film Festival, introduced me to the film, ’NOT The Last Butterfly‘ because he thought it would be perfect for the students at Allisonville Elementary. Since then, students at AV and across the district have participated annually in The Butterfly Project, undaunted by the pandemic of the last 2 years. On October 12th, 2021, the butterflies were finally mounted for our mural, which signifies HOPE. I am thankful to all the administrators, teachers, parents, friends, and students who contributed to this beautiful mural. It’s been a long time in the making. A shout out to Michael Frucci from North Central, who glazed every single butterfly and made them even more beautiful. And a very special thank you to Cheryl Rattner Price,  Joe Fab, and Craig Prater for trusting me with this project and for teaching us that we must never lose hope. Thank you to Allisonville Elementary PTO  and Allisonville Elementary School.

Butterfly Installations in Schools and Communities Across the Country and Around the World

Utilizing The Butterfly Project’s Design Team

When your school or organization dreams big, we are here to help you with everything from programming recommendations to the final installation. Organizations and schools can hire The Butterfly Project’s Artistic Team to create customized and legacy installations for you and final design components can be shipped across the US. Please contact cheryl@thebutterflyprojectnow.org for details

PLAQUES FOR INSTALLATIONS

The butterflies should be displayed in a meaningful and  respectful manner.  Each display or installation, whether permanent or temporary, should include verbiage attributing the butterflies to the larger program, in the form of a plaque with our logo or painted lettering to convey that these butterflies are part of the larger TBP community and include our foundational message of remembrance and hope. Here is sample verbiage for your plaque. Please feel free to contact us for guidance on verbiage for your plaque. We request that all plaques include our logo and the link to our website (www.thebutterflyprojectnow.org).

 

Plaque verbiage for installations

The ceramic butterflies in this dignified display are part of the official count of The Butterfly Project ®, a global and unifying memorial to the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust and a tribute to the survivors. The Butterfly Project was cofounded in 2006 by educator Jan Landau and artist Cheryl Rattner Price. 

May this display bring ongoing dialogue that empowers people of all backgrounds to create a more peaceful world. Please join us! www.thebutterflyprojectnow.org

 

TBP logo for installations

The Butterfly Project Logo

Installation FAQs

Yes

For on interior or exterior school vertical walls made of plaster, sheetrock, wood,brick, stucco or concrete, a product that we use that is very cost efficient is Thinset Versabond Mortar. This  can be found at Home Depot and comes in grey and white, we usually recommend the grey color

When used for walls, mix this product a bit thicker for less “slide” of the mounted butterflies while drying. Putting a light strip of blue painters tape over the top of mounted butterfly for 10 minutes will also keep in place. Recommendation: Don’t mix too thin, make it  the consistency of peanut butter. This can be found at Home Depot, in powder and now in pre mixed containers:

Liquid Nails, E6000 or Gorilla Glue work great, but can be a bit runny, recommend using blue painter’s tape to lightly adhere after the butterflies are placed on wall:

Here’s a video from our website with instructions (at the end) for mixing thinset and applying to the butterflies and to the wall.

We request that the butterflies are fired in a kiln to Cone 05. This makes them impervious to absorbing water and cracking due to the outdoor elements.

TBD

Yes, as long as the butterflies are fired with glaze in a kiln they can be attached to outside walls in locations that have inclement weather. Acrylic paint on butterflies is not recommended for outdoor installations.

Email us for assistance at beth@thebutterflyprojectnow.org and review our Installation page for idea!

We can help you brainstorm to find an economical solution, we have helped many installations take flight! Email us for assistance at beth@thebutterflyprojectnow.org.

Many schools have walls that need a reboot, hallways and benches that can be quite well suited for butterflies to be added each year. School gardens, peace poles and surrounding windows and over doors can be visually impactful as well. Email us for support if needed at  beth@thebutterflyprojectnow.org.

Yes, for best durability, the colored underglazes that come in our butterfly kits need that top coat to make stronger and more lustrous. Most participants find a ceramic studio that helps them to fire…they  might do it for free or charges a nominal amount  for the firing, usually $15-25 a kit.

Either the participants buys LOW FIRE TOP GLAZE,  and brings to the ceramic studio, or they have it on hand. Most kiln operators prefer to put the top glaze on themselves to insure that the glaze is not on the bottom of the butterfly which can make it adhere to the kiln. They might allow you to do the application if you wipe the bottoms clean and then save them the labor. This top coat fires to the same temperature as the underglaze provided in the kits (which is a bisque temperature, making it possible for kiln operator to add butterflies that are glazed to the same kiln that they might be firing unglazed pottery of their own.We request that the butterflies are fired in a kiln to Cone 05. This makes them impervious to absorbing water and cracking due to the outdoor elements. 

It is not absolutely essential to put this top glaze, our included underglazes will have a sheen, but with the top glaze, they become very shiny and more watertight.

Here’s are examples of top clear glaze: