Bugs in Carhart

New beetle exhibit set for Natural History Museum

Liz Moeller, Staff Writer

The science department in Wayne State College will be hosting an exhibit called “Facing up to Beetles: An Entomologist’s Perspective,” where students can view displays of beetle art, real specimens as well as digital tours. It will be running from Friday to the end of December, and will feature shows in the library, the museum, lower gag and even the Wayne Elementary school.

Dr. Barbara Hayford and Dr. Kelly Dilliard are the hosts of these exhibits, while Dr. Caroline Chaboo of the UNL Museum was the main organizer. Chaboo is an entomologist like Hayford.

“First of all, it’s amazing to see beetles up close and that large, with incredible details,” Hayford said. “You realize how beautiful the structures are. The artists that create these images looked at actual specimens and created these larger than life illustrations.” One illustrator is an alum from WSC and another is a personal friend of Hayford from a university in Kansas.

“The idea behind it is that we can really look at the world in a different perspective, so that’s amazing in itself,” Hayford said. “But in addition, I very much appreciate the artists because these are beautiful artistic renditions and they are absolutely gorgeous.”

This has been a wish of Hayford’s for a while, to allow students to enhance their awareness of this diverse species. The beetle species is so diverse that it holds a third or fourth of the entire species on earth, having over 500,000 discovered species. The library will hold a natural history case of beetles that can be found in the area to help expand knowledge.

“We’re also connecting with WSC Assistant Professor Carolyn Albracht and our art department. We are working with kids of the elementary as well to do something similar,” Dilliard said. This will include having the students create their own beetle art. It will start at the elementary on Nov. 10, opening on a science day. It will be available through math and science courses.

This display is also working to connect science to many other forms of art. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla., will be creating digital tours to help visitors understand beetles and their flight. It will connect science, technology and hearing knitting together a whole array of media.

The original opening will be in the museum on Friday, starting at 4:30 p.m. There will be refreshments and food for the gathering and it should be a learning experience for everyone. It is free to the public and all are encouraged to come experience this event. A nano exhibit is confirmed to be the next exhibit next semester.