A Butterfly Species Settles in San Francisco’s Market Street
Two advocates track Western tiger swallowtails through the city and use art to encourage residents to think of the fluttering creatures as welcome neighbors
By Aleta George for smithsonian.com
August 28, 2013
“Nature is everywhere,” says lepidopterist Liam O’Brien about the tigers of San Francisco’s Market Street—Western tiger swallowtail butterflies, that is.
O’Brien and naturalist Amber Hasselbring of Art-ecology have launched a campaign called “Tigers on Market Street” to speak for the butterflies that live in the canopy of trees that line the busiest street in downtown San Francisco. They are bringing the butterfly’s story to light using science and art as the City of San Francisco re-imagines the role of this hardworking boulevard in a project called Better Market Street. On blank walls and in Powerpoint talks given to groups throughout the city, the duo display photographs, paintings and fantastical collages of the butterflies and the urban world in which they live. Continue reading