Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Posted Posted by Mary in Other Events     Comments 2 Comments


Yesterday I enjoyed attending Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences. After missing out last year, I wanted to see what sorts of cool displays and events they had at their seventh annual presentation, themed “Beauty and the Bug.” The weekend event offered something for all ages, with crafts and activities for kids as well as a variety of speakers, cases of live and pinned insects, and art displays. I enjoyed my visit and would love to attend again next year!

These Ulysses butterflies were the most incredible shade of bright blue.


Gorgeous Sunset moths from Madagascar.


Locally caught moths and other insects.

I chatted briefly with some of the experts and volunteers at the tables while I was browsing the display cases. Then I had the pleasure of running into Greg, the curatorial assistant I’d met at the insect pinning class I took in September. He loved my Bugdana and took some pictures of it, then gave me his card. Suffice it to say there may be more drawn-from-life bug studies for me in the future! Greg also introduced me to the friendly woman at one of the tables in the North American hall (whose name sadly escapes me at the moment). She showed me a treehopper and some beautiful bug photos, and we geeked out over how amazing they were.

Live scarab beetles climbing on some leaves.


A leaf insect hanging from the top of its enclosure.

There was a special display of the art of Christopher Marley in the Art of Science Gallery. His work involves creating beautiful arrangements of insects in a way that turns them into jewel-like objects of art rather than the idea of ugly “creepy crawlies” many people jump to when thinking about bugs. I had a calendar of his work a few years ago and found the actual pieces even lovelier in person.

A selection of insect art by Marley.

I also had time to attend a talk by entomologist Faith Kuehn, who presented some of her collection of insect artwork. She owns over 4,000 pieces including artisan and costume jewelry, ephemera, and other beautiful items – a few were present in a glass case on the second level. It was encouraging to see bug art appreciated by the people doing bug science!

The Academy was more crowded on Saturday than I’d ever seen it; there were so many families with kids interested in bugs.  I’d like to get back again before long and will hopefully be able to attend Member’s Night. Bug Fest made for a fun afternoon and gave me some new ideas for insect art to do in the future. If you’re local and you like bugs too, consider attending next year!

A brilliant common green birdwing butterfly.

2 Comments to “Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences”

  • Wow, great stuff! Something I loved about the Arizona Insect Festival was that nearly all of their live bugs were native to the state. Was it the same here?

    • They had a variety of live bugs, some of which were native to the state and some of which had even been gathered from a nearby park earlier that day. Others were from different parts of the country.

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