Manifest Boston Stories

Ready to Emerge in Boston: Glitch

Written by Kait Ziskin Levesque | Jun 11, 2020 1:45:34 PM

“Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.” – Unknown

Boston is waking up. We are slowly, with appropriate distancing and in measured phases, crawling out of our homes emerging into a world changed. We are changed. Boston is a city moving forward, and at Manifest Boston, we want to honor that future. The one the makers, doers, and dreamers of our community are creating together.

We’re proud to invite, in partnership with MilliporeSigma, Jane Kim of Ink Dwell to produce her first New England public art mural as a gift to the City of Boston. The mural, to be unveiled in late summer 2020, will remain on view throughout the fall and be visible from the HubWeek 2020 site, The Playground, located at 65 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA. 

Jane Kim, founder of San Francisco-based Ink Dwell studio, is a visual artist known for her nation-wide public art featuring inhabitants and habitats of our natural world. A science illustrator and naturalist, Kim hand paints her pieces, from an epic Wall of Birds to a series of murals featuring the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Kim’s work highlights the intersections of the natural world and the human world, asking us to reflect on how they intertwine and affect each other.

For Kim’s first mural in New England, Manifest Boston and MilliporeSigma are thankful to the partners at WS Development and  District Hall in providing the perfect canvas for this 24’ installation: the west wall of the iconic District Hall building, a city-sponsored Innovation Center. A symbol of innovation and progress in our city’s Seaport District, District Hall sits right next to The Playground, site of HubWeek 2020, making it the ideal location for the newest iteration of Jane Kim’s  Monarch Migration series, entitled Glitch.

New England is the last stop in the monarch butterfly’s yearly migratory journey. The monarch butterfly we see in New England migrates over 3,000 miles over 3-4 generations northward over the East Coast and up into New England before the migratory generation (up to 500,000 butterflies at one time) turns around in the early fall, making the long trip back down to Mexico to overwinter. 

Glitch also highlights New England’s reign as a tech hub. At innovation centers, labs, and research universities throughout the region, the people of Boston dive deep into global problems, building solutions right here in our backyard. 

The mural, like the project as a whole, brings together the human and the monarch experience with a timely nod to the beauty and anticipation of a world in the process of metamorphosis. It brings focus to the monarch butterfly’s migratory journey while consciously asking our community to consider how this year’s journey of pandemic, social distancing, and civil unrest will transform us into a more secure, stable, and resilient community. A community ready to emerge and take flight towards the future.

“Kim has taken [scientific illustration] to the next level by moving the art out of sketchbooks and textbooks and onto massive exhibition-scale walls.” - Outside

A look at some of Jane's work: