Butterflies are back on display in New Orleans after more than 20 years of decline in the city’s downtown, but the art community is looking to make the art form accessible and affordable for all.
A dozen paintings, from the 1960s to the early 1990s, have been up for auction since last year, and the artist behind each one, artist Chris Haney, is seeking to make them available to the public for free.
“I think it’s a really cool way to help a community come together,” said Haney.
“I want people to come and experience what’s going on.”
Butterflies painted by artist Chris Y. Haney are on display at the Dormont Arts Center in New Park.
The work is on view until Aug. 23.
(Tom Szczerbowski/For The Washington Post)Butterfly paintings are often on view for free because the art has a history that dates back to the 1960’s, said New York artist Mark Wachs.
Artists from around the country and the world have turned their attention to painting butterflies.
Hodge said his paintings have inspired his generation of artists, many of whom are artists themselves.
“It’s just about getting people together and showing that you can paint something beautiful, and it’s not just about a dollar,” Hodge told The Washington Review.
“If we were all living in New Jersey, I think the butterflies would be gone,” he said.
Haney is currently on a one-week tour through the Dorman Arts Center of the Museum of Modern Art in New Amsterdam.
He is currently working on a new painting, “Brick and Mortar,” a collaboration with artist Sarah Vos and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Hanyys work has been on view in New Haven, Hartford and Hartford, Conn.
since May, with a New York premiere planned for Sept. 2.
“That’s the way it works, and I just want to give people a chance to see something that they may not see anywhere else,” Haney said.
He said he’s trying to raise $2 million to purchase more paintings, and he’s hoping to have the work available by next summer.
“The butterflies are an important part of the history of the city, and for us to be able to bring them to people in New England is really exciting,” Hanyes said.
Butter-themed art has long been a part of New York’s art scene, especially in the last decade, when New York city was one of the first places in the country to have a butterfly-themed show.
In 2010, Haney created a butterfly painting, which was on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until the butterfly painting was removed for safety reasons.
He said his butterfly painting is one of only three in the world that’s still on display, the other two being a painting of a butterfly and a butterfly sculpture.
“There’s so much art that’s being made in the art world right now,” he told The Post.
“But I feel like the butterflies are so iconic to New York and to the city that it’s hard to miss them.
I think they’re so important to New Yorkers.”
The Metropolitan Museum said it is working to bring the butterflies back.
“The Metropolitan’s mission is to share the stories of America’s greatest artists, and this exhibition of their work is an excellent way to do that,” said Marcia Brown, museum curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
But Haney is working with the Museum to keep the butterfly paintings up to date with a schedule of events and new art.
He plans to keep painting them for about a month, but said he would love to get more butterflies painted over the summer.
He’s hoping that the paintings can become a part the Museum’s permanent collection.
Hanyys painting of the butterfly sculpture was removed because it had been vandalized in 2010.
He added that it is not clear how many paintings are on view or what happens to them.
H.E.A.T.O.P. is an acronym for His American Beauty, which refers to the butterfly sculptures in New Yorks Museum of Natural History and was created in the early 1970s.
The artist is known for his work and he has been known to paint butterflies on his own artwork.