A Kaleidoscope of Color and Beauty

Updated: Apr 14

By: Sara Shanning

The definition of community is associated with many words: connection, belonging, diversity, perspective, elements, and many more. It would be easy to apply those same words to a butterfly, especially the brilliantly colorful sculpture located at Fenton High School. Why? Because it was the result of a community coming together to create something special.

A group of butterflies is often referred to as a kaleidoscope. This particular piece is exactly that. A changing pattern of shapes and colors. Built in 2017 over a period of ten months, 125 members of the Fenton community came together, bringing their own personalities and ideas to bring about an end result that is a symbol of what happens when we work together for a common goal.

Made mostly of steel, aluminum, and copper wiring, and standing four feet tall, the butterfly offers much to ponder if you take the time to see the representations enmeshed in the design. Here is where perspective comes into play.

The copper wiring could represent the tangled, messy lines that weave us together both collectively and individually. As in any relationship, there are both times of ease and distress. The metal boundary of the butterfly could symbolize how we as a society define our morals and values within our community. The stark column of the body and head of the butterfly is proud and strong.

Then, there are the wings. An attribute that could be tagged as political, tolerant, divergent, or completely meaningless. The left is not symmetrical with the right side. In any community, there will be peace and strife. Victory and defeat. Those that give and those that take. Good versus bad. It is the way of this world.

Next time you see one of the butterflies that grace our town, think about what they represent to you. How the transformation and brilliance of such creatures tell your story. After all, isn’t that exactly what the Fenton Arts Council represents? How the creation of art itself is what does tell us, and others, who we are?

In partnership with the Fenton Downtown Development Authority, this sculpture was gifted to Fenton Area Public Schools and is currently displayed at Fenton High School.


About The Author

Sara Shanning is an author local to the Fenton Community. Learn more about her on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Shanning/e/B07Y57LZ5X?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1586399668&sr=8-1



@2020 Fenton Arts Council | (810) 354-5659‬

This program is sponsored in part by the Greater Flint Arts Council Share Art Genesee Grant Program made possible by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work! 

This activity is sponsored in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.