Appleton | Butterfly Print Project


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This project was conceived initially by Mark Smith and me ca. 2008. With the economy is disarray for several years, however, we hesitated to venture forth. Now that we have moved past the economic malaise for the most part, we have returned to discussing the project. Since then, I also moved back to my former home of Austin, Texas where I have been in touch with Shea Little of Big Medium regarding the project.

It is hoped a touring exhibition of prints will be developed, and print sales (individual and boxed sets) will support the National Butterfly Center (and park) in Mission, Texas. Information:

On a personal note, I volunteered to help Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg of NABA early-on in the formation of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas (starting in 1999). As a volunteer, I helped introduce him to some of the leading philanthropists of Texas. Those relationships resulted in some significant grants. In recognition, I received an Honorary Lifetime Membership in NABA. Today, the Center is flourishing, but daily operational costs require additional charitable donations, and for the long term. The Butterfly Print Project is one way those funds could, in part, be provided.

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Appleton | Butterfly Print Project

  1. 1. 1 Butterfly Print Project Overview Updated: January 31, 2016 “What is this special fascination all about? There are a number of reasons, I’m sure, but my strong feeling is that we need butterflies to remind us that positive change is possible, that there is magic to life, and that we have to be mindful of our surroundings, because if we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. Butterflies awaken our spirits and open our hearts. They give us a sense of hope and the possibility of our own transformation and evolution.” Maraleen Manos Jones The Spirit of Butterflies: Myth, Magic and Art Mission The Texas Butterfly Print Project is a multiple-year, fine art print creation project designed to accomplish two primary objectives:  To produce fine art prints by leading artists that will be included in a traveling exhibition and available for sale on an individual basis and as a boxed set. Proceeds from the sale of prints will support the North American Butterfly Association’s National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Initially, we anticipate a limited run of 25 prints per artist will be produced for the boxed sets, and 10 single prints per each artist will be for sale on an
  2. 2. 2 individual basis. The artist list is under development. Careful consideration is being given to ensure a balance of artistic styles, gender, ethnicity, age and other factors.  Included with each boxed set of fine art prints will be a frontispiece introduction by a highly regarded author and/or screenwriter. The box to contain the prints will be designed by Mike Hicks, and hence will be a work of art itself, as will details of the interior of this specially created, unique container. And equally if not more importantly, the Project will serve:  To build visibility for the North American Butterfly Association’s National Butterfly Center through a professional touring exhibition of the finished fine art prints, a video documenting the creation of the prints (which will include dialogues with the artists, our author partner, Project organizers, and with Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, President of the North American Butterfly Association), tandem educational programs for K-12 students, and associated printed materials (produced in both English and Spanish, wherever possible).  It is hoped that with increased visibility, a broad base of future sponsors will be developed for the Center, and that people visiting the traveling exhibition (and young people participating in the educational programs being developed), will learn about the park and the important role butterflies play in the natural world. The Butterfly Print Project is meant to be a program of the highest caliber, both in terms of the finished fine art prints produced, as well as the artists who create them. Each aspect of the Project will follow suit. However, donors should be assured that close financial oversight will be maintained. Any funding that is secured beyond the scope of the Texas Butterfly Print Project budget will be awarded to the North American Butterfly Association. North American Butterfly Association | National Butterfly Center The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is the culmination of a decade of planning for a facility devoted entirely to studying and appreciating wild butterflies. The Park is dedicated to education, conservation and scientific research. The subtropical climate of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and its unique diversity of butterflies attract visitors from around the world. Texas - and particularly South Texas - boasts more butterfly species than any other state in the nation. The Park involves not only educational programs for people of all ages, but very importantly, the re-vegetation of land along the Rio Grande River with a wide variety of native plants in natural plant communities that have all but disappeared from the South Texas landscape. These native plants are attractive to the many unique butterfly species that find their homes in
  3. 3. 3 South Texas. Re-vegetation has already begun. Financial support and some new construction has been provided by such entities as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Park Service, Mission Economic Development Corporation, The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Houston Endowment Inc., The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and the Magnolia Trust. Butterfly Print Project Team  Carolyn M. Appleton, Austin, Texas  Shannon Wood Bush, Landowner and Collector, Refugio, Texas  Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, President, North American Butterfly Association, Morristown, New Jersey and National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas  Mike Hicks, Hixo, Inc., Austin, Texas The Project was first conceptualized ca. 2008 by Carolyn M. Appleton (then of Corpus Christi), and Mark Smith (then co-owner of Flatbed Press, Austin). Carolyn and Mark attended graduate school together at The University of Texas and have known one another for thirty years. We wish to thank those who participated in the Project’s early formation, who generously shared their ideas and contacts with us, among them Katherine Brimberry, Flatbed Press, Austin; Deborah Fullerton, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi; Molly Hipp Hubbard, Houston; Meredith Long, Houston; and Laurey Peat, Dallas. Carolyn would also like to thank Shea Little, Executive Director of Big Medium in Austin for additional ideas and information-sharing. Ongoing Project Tasks  Selection of artists (Mark Smith). Among the initial choices are the following. We are considering broadening the field to include artists outside of Texas. Stay tuned. Those with an asterisk by their names (*) initially agreed to participate, but we will circle back to them once the Project gains its wings, to make sure they can still be part of the project. Art Guys John Alexander David Bates Michael Ray Charles Kate Breakey* James Drake Melissa Miller Vincent Valdez*
  4. 4. 4 Julian Schnabel John Holt Smith Ray Smith Julie Speed*  Selection of venues for the traveling exhibition, ending at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. We may also avail ourselves of the services of a professional touring agency (yet to be determined).  Selection of author to write the frontispiece is underway. Among those we would like to ask: Rick Bass; Oscar Casares, John Graves; Thomas McGuane; Larry McMurtry; Sam Shepard; and Bill Wittliff.  Selection of a reputable nonprofit organization to be the working “home” for the Project. Charitable donations and underwriting will be managed by the nonprofit organization, as well as ongoing accounting and donor stewardship. If possible, the traveling exhibition might be managed by the nonprofit, or we may seek professional help from an outside organization or business for this aspect.  Basic Project budgeting is now complete (Carolyn M. Appleton). Next Phase Once the Above is Complete  Fundraising to underwrite the Project will begin once the artists are recruited, the author of the frontispiece is recruited, and the nonprofit home is selected.  Printmaking scheduling and creation will dovetail with the availability of the artists, videotaping of printmaking process, creation of educational programs (NABA staff), design and creation of printed materials (Mike Hicks).  During this time frame, leading donors will be invited to witness portions of the print creation process, if desired and they will be included in the videotaping sessions. Following Steps  Project details are completed and fine-tuned, so the traveling exhibition can be comfortably launched and media attention is well planned and secured.  Opening of the exhibition will occur at the nonprofit host organization.
  5. 5. 5  Final exhibition venue will be Mission, Texas, home of the National Butterfly Center being funded through the Project. Project Budget Estimate The Texas Butterfly Print Project is anticipated to require funding at the level of $520,000 to $550,000 range, spread over a three-year time span. The sale of the fine art print boxed sets and individual prints are anticipated to match this amount in the end. Auxiliary sales of brochures, t-shirts and other items to be produced in tandem with the touring exhibition will go to support the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Included in the budget are such items as the cost of providing artist honoraria (including honorarium for our well-known author to write the frontispiece), artist travel expenses to and from our printing press location, professional graphic design and printing for the boxed set design, video production, brochure and related printed pieces (Mike Hicks), printing production fees, framing costs, exhibition travel costs, insurance fees, and the like. In-kind contributions of butterfly and park information are being provided the Project partners, and with luck, our budget may be slightly decreased in the end. However, our budgeting process attempts to include all possible costs to ensure we are adequately and fully “covered.” Charitable donations to support the Project will be sought from individuals, foundations, families and corporations. Written will be provided to donors who award grants to the Texas Butterfly Print Project. Sponsors at significant levels will also be invited watch the printmaking process on site as they wish and are able to do so. Sponsor names will be included in the exhibition brochure and related printed informational pieces as well. For More Information  Carolyn M. Appleton, 3100 Esperanza Crossing #6167, Austin, Texas 78758-0009 (512-954-4477). The photograph of a Mexican bluewing butterfly shown on page 1 is by Jeffrey Glassberg.