Photos provided by Brandon Ballengee’s website.

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Bus To Nature: Route 22

ITHACA, NY— Art and moths meet at the Love Motel for Insects at Cornell Plantations’ F. R. Newman Arboretum beginning July 19.

Brandon Ballengee, an artist, scientist, and activist is asking the community to come together to help construct one of these unique hotels from 1-4pm on Sunday, July 19.

This exhibit will be on display in the Arboretum for part of National Moth Week (July 18-26, 2015).  In addition to the Love Motel for Insects, Dr. Jason J. Dombroskie, collection manager for Cornell University’s  Insect Collection & coordinator of the Insect Diagnostic Lab will offer two programs, during the day and at night to celebrate moths.

Dr. Sonja Skelly, director of education for Cornell Plantations stated, “Bringing together art, science, and nature is at the heart of our mission at Cornell Plantations.  We are excited to celebrate National Moth Week with acclaimed artist, Brandon Ballengee and insect expert, Dr. Jason Dombroskie in the beauty of our F. R. Newman Arboretum.”

The complete list of events:

Love Motel for Insects

Sunday, July 19; 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., & Monday, July 20; 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Join artist Brandon Ballengee in building and touring a Love Motel for Insects, an ongoing series of outdoor installations intended to construct sculpted canvases to attract insects and create opportunity to interact with nocturnal arthropods. On Sunday, Ballengee invites the public to help him build the Love Motel. On Monday, join Ballengee for a tour of the installation (7-8 p.m.) and for bug watching (8-10 p.m.) Come for either or both! Visit Brandon’s website at


Instructor:  Brandon Ballengee, artist, biologist and environmental activist

Location:  F. R. Newman Arboretum Ponds

Moths of the Day…

Wednesday, July 22; 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Most people associate moths with the night, but there are many species that are active in the day, and many of the nocturnal species can be found during the day as well.  Join us for a leisurely walk through the Mundy Wildflower Garden and around Beebe Lake as we slowly walk through various habitats looking for both adult moths and their caterpillars.  For any species we encounter we will discuss their natural history and the ecology of these important and fascinating creatures.

Fee:  FREE

Instructor:  Jason J. Dombroskie, Ph.D., Collection Manager, Cornell University Insect Collection & Coordinator of the Insect Diagnostic Lab

Location:  Mundy Wildflower Garden entrance, Caldwell Road

…Moths of the Night

Wednesday, July 22; 9:00 p.m. to midnight

As the sun sets we will have a brief introduction to moths and then fire up a bright mercury vapor light and two ultraviolet lights to attract the moths.  We will learn how to identify the myriad forms of moths that arrive through the night and learn about their natural history. Stop by for a few minutes or bring a lawn chair and hang out for the evening. Bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Fee:  FREE

Instructor:  Jason J. Dombroskie, Ph.D., Collection Manager, Cornell University Insect Collection  & Coordinator of the Insect Diagnostic Lab

Location:  Meet at the Newman Overlook, F. R. Newman Arboretum

Love Motel for Insects is an ongoing series that started in 2001 in Costa Rica, and has since taken the artist to Delhi, London, Venice and Loch Ness (Scotland), and most notably – Central Park in New York City, among other venues. The original structures were made from black lights and bed sheets; today, they use ultra-violet lighting on black canvas backgrounds. In creating an opportunity for the public to observe rarely seen and often misunderstood organisms, each installation responds to the ecology specific to its site.

Photos provided by Brandon Ballengee’s website.
Photos provided by Brandon Ballengee’s website.

The Cornell University Insect Collection is a world-class research and training collection that includes that includes over 7 million insects specimens representing about 200,000 species, or roughly 20% of the World’s described insect fauna. Our collection is an important resource for Cornell students, staff and faculty, for the College of Agriculture, for residents of New York State, and for the broader systematics community.

The Love Motel for Insects installation is made possible through a partnership between Cornell Plantations and Cornell’s Department of Anthropology and by a grant from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University.

Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. For more information call 607-255-2400, or visit Stay connected with Cornell Plantations: find us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter @CUintheGarden; follow us on Instagram @cornellplantations; follow us on Tumblr at