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Crane Student Uses Paper Butterflies to Honor Victims of Missing Malaysian Jetliner

Brynkly Meyer
Brynkly Meyer

Brynkly Meyer, an eighth-grader at Crane Country Day School, chose hundreds of paper butterflies as a symbol of remembrance for the victims of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  The butterflies are an installation art piece placed in the school’s iconic oak tree near the front of campus.

Earlier this semester, all the eighth-grade students were challenged to pursue their own artistic interests and choose an Independent Art Project and Presentation (iApp). The iApp program provides the flexibility for students to express themselves individually and creatively within a broader structure of an innovative group vision. The students discuss how their iApp represents not only themselves, but also the world around them.

Brynkly originally had the idea of installing paper kites, which then morphed into butterflies.

“I wanted to do something the whole school could appreciate,” Brynkly said. “It took me about six hours last night to put them all up. My friends and family helped me, and we worked until after dark.”

The names of the flight’s missing passengers and crew are written on the butterflies, which extend up from the trunk and through the branches, and then cascade down to the very tips of the twigs.

The creative process spanned more than nine weeks as part of the iApp, which progressed from idea to implementation and, finally, to delivery. The actual creation took more than two weeks, including hand and die-cutting each butterfly, sewing them together, and experimenting with adhesion technique and color.

“I originally wanted to paint them blue and green, but I ended up choosing white because it is more powerful,” Brynkly said.

She also put forth a schoolwide contest to guess the number of butterflies, which has many K-8 students already admiring and contemplating the incredible creation. As for the future of Brynkly’s iApp: “I think when I’m done with it I will put it all together in a special box and mail it with personal notes from members of the Crane community to the families of the missing, so they can know we are thinking of them."

You will find Brynkly’s butterfly art installation at Crane Country Day School at 1795 San Leandro Lane in Montecito. For more information about Crane School, call 805.969.7732 or email [email protected].

— Julia Davis is the associate director of admission for Crane Country Day School.

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