Butterfly garden art display brings beauty, hope to MSU campus

“We want to grow, we want to soar, we want to flourish”
A new art display on campus aims to uplift spirits and bring some positivity to the community.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:53 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Monday marks one month since the mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus. As students return to classes following spring break, new safety measures are in place. One thing that has stayed the same this past month, is the overwhelming community support.

Related: MSU offers mental health support resources following shooting

A new art display on campus took flight Monday. The International Center has been transformed into a very colorful butterfly garden. Of course, they aren’t real butterflies or flowers, but if you look closely you’ll see they are made of coffee filters.

This is the handiwork of East Lansing artist Zahrah Resh. She was originally working on the installation for the three-year anniversary of COVID-19. When the shooting happened on MSU’s campus, she quickly changed gears.

“It’s to remember, reflect, and not be defined by what happened. We want to grow, we want to soar, we want to flourish,” said Resh.

With the help of students and staff, they constructed hundreds of green and white butterflies for the installation. Monday morning, the butterflies were marched across campus and placed in a popular building for students and staff.

“I was just working on homework and I had my headphones in, and then I saw this huge group of people come in and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, like this is amazing.’ I just saw big trees and lots of color, and it’s already so much brighter and more beautiful,” said Taryn Riekse, Senior at MSU.

You can see all of these butterflies at the International Center for the next two months, until May 14.

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