Moth Project to Attract ‘Second-Shift Pollinators’
Georgia Southern University will host The Moth Project at various locations on campus from Thursday, September 11, to Wednesday, September 17.
The Mother Project, presented by PlantBot Genetics, a collaboration of Ceramic Professor Jeff Schmuki, of the University’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, and Wendy DesChene, associate professor of Art at Auburn University, has received a grant from Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability. During its presentations, from 7 p.m. to midnight, The Moth Project creates fluttering -lights to attract insects and educates attendees on the importance of ecologically responsible power sources to provide a cleaner and healthier environment for humans, insects, and plants. However, the Project’s main focus is educating the public on the decline of pollinator populations and the need to preserve the environment while seeking alternative solutions for pollination.
“Earth’s primary pollinator, the honeybee, is in rapid decline, and scientists don’t know exactly why,” Schmuki said. “Through The Moth Project, PlantBot Genetics asks: ‘What if we had to rely on second-shift pollinators, such as moths, to pollinate our food and flowers?”
“This visually stunning project acts as the stage for a public art experience, cross-pollinating various disciplines, and further expanding an understanding of and appreciation for moths and other nighttime pollinators that are vital to the area,” he said.
While on campus, PlantBot Genetics will set up reflective-light tents alongside its ArtLab at several locations, including:
• Thursday, September 11: The Garden of the Coastal Plain
• Friday, September 12: Sweetheart Circle
• Monday, September 15: Sculpture/Ceramics Building
• Tuesday, September 16: Outdoor Classroom, Biological Sciences Building
• Wednesday, September 17: Fielding S. Russell University Union Rotunda
(view locations →)
During the public demonstrations, the ArtLab, an 18-foot solar-powered trailer that houses a mobile art space, will project videos of black-lights to attract moths, other nighttime pollinators, and people. The Moth Project’s lighten and projections are completely off-grid and solar-powered, freeing it from the tether of an electrical outlet.
Schmuki said that he expects the demonstration at the Garden of the Coastal Plain to attract the largest and most diverse array of insects, and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will feature the Project in a Great Minds lecture before the demonstration on September 15. The Great Minds lecture will take place in the Biological Sciences Building and is free to attend.
After its weeklong study on campus, PlantBot Genetics will compile its Moth Project findings into a free pollinator field guide to catalog the moths and other insects that it identifies. The field guide will also contain information on the importance of pollinators and resources for those curious about backyard naturalism.
The Moth Project will return to Statesboro on Saturday, October 4, during the city’s Greenfest, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Bulloch County Courthouse lawn.
Learn more about The Moth Project at Georgia Southern University.
The Moth Project’s on-campus study is made possible by Georgia Southern’s Center for Sustainability’s Sustainability Free Project Grant: Student Sustainability Fees at work! For more information about the Center for Sustainability, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/sustainability.
For more information about the Great Minds Lecture Series and to register to attend the September 15 event, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/class.
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