SAAC is currently hosting local artist Wesley Beard and his exhibition “Kaleidoscope Eclipse” in the Lobby Gallery. Inspired by a passion of observing and photographing insects in nature, the installation features moth wing art and origami crane mobiles by the El Dorado native and will be on exhibit through the end of March with a closing reception on Thursday, March 30 from 5:30-7:00pm.
Just as the title of his exhibit insinuates, being that a group of butterflies is referred to as a “kaleidoscope” and a group of moths is referred to as an “eclipse,” Beard’s passion for insects has spanned for many years. The photographs, mostly of moths, in his exhibit were actually captured in South Arkansas and have been photoshopped with 8 to 32 images of the same wing creating a mandala-like pattern.
Beard’s interest in moths was first piqued at an industrial job where many types of insects would find their way through the shop and blend in to the world where he worked. He became enthralled with the intricacies and diversities of moths. For example, Beard said, “moths have individual scales that act as a coat for the wings, body, and head. Moths also differ in the way they display themselves while they roost. Some have their wings flat with the surface while others pinch their wings behind the back perpendicular to their perch. I’ve even seen wings rolled around the body like a blanket to mimic dead grass.” Beard went on to say, “The combinations continue to amaze me with every new moth or insect I encounter.”
Born in El Dorado, he was raised by a family filled with teachers of love and creativity. Beard moved to Florida after high school but then returned to El Dorado in 2011 where he now resides with his wife and children. It was about the time that his son was born that he began making the origami cranes and creating the mobiles to bring peace, luck, and balance into visualization. Wesley invites all the guest to take an origami crane from the display as a gift.