Metamorphosis

Submitted by Matthew Placzek

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Client: Henry Doorly Zoo – Butterfly Pavilion

Location: Omaha, NE, United States

Completion date: 2008

Artwork budget: $95,000

Project Team

Artist

Matthew Placzek

Placzek Studios

Client

Henry Doorly Zoo

Overview

“Metamorphosis” depicts the lifecycle of a butterfly in a sensitive, kinetic manner. The acrylic panels of this 18-foot tall sculpture glisten in the sunlight and has become a focal point of the Henry Doorly Zoo.

Goals

Featured outside the newly constructed Butterfly and Insect Pavilion at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, "Metamorphosis" is a way-finding piece, using familiar shapes and colors to construct the beautiful transformation of butterflies. Using colorful acrylic and hand-painted metal, this piece builds energy and excitement for the new exhibit, attracting visitors to the Pavilion as well as the Zoo.

Process

As one of the first collaborations with the Henry Doorly Zoo, "Metamorphosis" not only showcases the new Butterfly and Insect Pavilion, but symbolizes the constant growth and changes of one of the largest and most-visited Zoo's in the world, with over 1.5 million visitors annually. As an outdoor piece susceptible to inclement weather, this piece needed detailed engineering to not only firmly house the acrylic panels, but to allow the structure to be as delicate and sturdy as possible.