Orange Regional Museum and Orange Regional Gallery have joined forces with many of the region’s public primary schools to shine a light on biodiversity in a project called Pollinators.
Pollinators is a creative art-making and environmental education project that explores the behaviour of pollinating insects, birds, bats and other small mammals, and the crucial role they play in sustaining biodiversity and human health.
The project culminates in an exhibition featuring artworks by thousands of local students, which will be displayed at Orange Regional Museum from March 20 to May 9.
Mayor Reg Kidd says this is the second time the Museum and Gallery have collaborated with the SPARKE Network of local public primary schools in a project of this nature.
“It follows last year’s hugely successful Regenerate project, which encouraged school children to use their creativity to explore the effects of bushfire and learn about the bushland’s recovery,” he said.
“More than 2500 children had the excitement of contributing to a real exhibition and the pride of having their artworks displayed in the Museum for all to see.”
To kick off the Pollinators project in 2021, the Museum and Gallery teams prepared art-making templates and an education kit, which were distributed to participating schools from Orange and surrounding areas at the beginning of the school year.
The education kit focused on introducing children to pollination and plant biology as well as the identification of local plants and the animals that pollinate them.
Children have also been learning about the crucial role that pollinators play in our lives.
The art-making activity saw children paint thousands of wings that represent four native pollinating animals found in the Orange region – The Australian Painted Lady Butterfly, the Blue-banded Bee, the Grey-headed Flying-fox and the Red Wattlebird.
Orange Regional Museum Manager Dr Mary-Elizabeth Andrews says the wings have been installed at the Museum to create a colourful collaborative ‘swarm’ display as part of the exhibition.
“The exhibition will also include educational panels designed for children and families, as well as a pollination game that encourages young people to identify local plant species and the animals that pollinate them,” Dr Andrews said.
“Children can also learn what they can do in their own backyards to encourage pollinating animals and leave their thoughts on the interactive apple tree.”
Orange City Council Services Policy Committee Chair Scott Munro said Pollinators was a must-see for the region’s residents.
“This is an opportunity to come along and see a locally produced exhibition featuring the talents of our own school children, a great example of what can be achieved through a successful collaboration,” he said.
“Families can see their children’s artworks and learn a bit about our biodiversity at the same time.”
Pollinators will be officially opened at a celebration this Friday 19 March at 5.30pm for 6pm.
This FREE event includes light non-alcoholic refreshments and is open to the public. Everyone is welcome.
This is a COVID safe event. Tickets are limited and bookings are essential at Eventbrite.