Monarch Butterfly

Submitted by Michelle Stitzlein


Client: Brukner Nature Center

Location: Troy, OH, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $7,500

Project Team


Michelle Stitzlein


Nathaniel Stitzlein


Deb Oexmann

Brukner Nature Center


The sculpture for the Brukner Nature Center is a celebration of the natural world made with recycled and re-purposed materials. Inspired by the monarch butterfly, the work was created from used household and industrial products and demonstrates a sensitivity and awareness to the needs of the environment, particularly the plight and struggle of this magnificent insect. The piece measures 4'3″H x 6'5″W x 10″D.


It was important for the Brukner Nature Center to generate excitement for their patrons through indoor programming and exhibits when outdoor activities were not possible. As a preserve of 165 acres with wildlife rehabilitation services, they also very strongly wanted to encourage thought about the protection of our natural resources. The work created and installed, therefore, invites the general public to visually explore and discover different recognizable objects from their daily lives; items normally destined for the landfill. Both children and adult viewers enjoy interacting with the work by finding and identifying the hundreds of objects hidden in plain view in a type of "scavenger hunt" activity.


After submitting a proposal, I worked with Deb on gathering materials from the Brukner Nature Center patrons and local residents of the Troy, OH, area. Discussions and meetings took place with Deb Oexmann about weight and structural concerns to ensure that the piece would be safely installed. Progress photos were e-mailed to Deb intermittently. Nathaniel Stitzlein assisted with construction details, delivery and installation on site.