The Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Project:
Nymph on a Log Phase
A montage of information on the creative gestational process of the dragonfly and it’s life cycle thus far is available on YouTube through a video series Betsy implemented in order to chronicle the journey of the dragonfly to the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin in 2011. As with anything so beautiful the narrative has many surprises and also many magical connections. In total the video series spans ten weeks but we recommend watching the first three videos, weeks 2-4, as she explores and explains in spectacular detail the components and the assemblage ahead. In addition, week 10, the last video is an illuminating behind the scenes glimpse of the dragonfly’s public debut as Betsy installs the series and speaks with RAM Executive Director and Curator of Collections, Bruce Pepich, during gallery night in downtown Racine, WI. The Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly indigenous to Betsy’s area of Illinois has many magical connections to New Orleans. For example, when watching the videos, note that the altar within the Voodoo Spiritual Temple shown on N Rampart Street, which caught fire a few years ago, featured a postcard of Betsy’s work and some soil she had sent to High Priestess Miriam upon request from the banks of the Rock River in Wisconsin, a crucial p[art of Betsy’s creative journey of discovery. Black Hawk, referenced in the video for week 7 at 1:20 is a hauntingly relevant tale of a Sac Indigenous leader who led 60 of his people in a holding action against 700 United States militia known as the Battle of Wisconsin Heights in 1832 enabling them all to continue on for 12 more days before being slain or perishing while attempting to cross the Mississippi River. Secondly, the man Betsy is speaking with at Jazz Fest later on within the same video is Ronald Lewis, who sadly succumbed to Covid-19 in 2020, from The House of Dance and Feathers on Tupelo Street. She had gifted him with a beaded hand featuring a glass eye which is now on display in his museum in the ninth ward bringing the abundant and interconnected cycle full circle. The dragonfly in it’s nymph state is a beautiful representation of what it is to be before we transform into our fragile and temporary yet truest and most beautiful versions of ourselves.