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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Saturday, July 26, 2014

Natural selection: Tasha Ostrander examines the stuff of life and death

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Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 11:08 pm, Thu Mar 28, 2013.

In 1996 Santa Fe artist Tasha Ostrander completed Seventy-Three in a Moment, a large-scale wall-mounted piece composed of more than 26,000 paper butterflies. The title refers to what at the time was an average human life span and the significantly shorter life duration of a butterfly. Ostrander composed the piece by Xeroxing images of various butterfly species found in a field manual. She then hand-cut and attached them to a wooden surface built in segments. The butterflies are arranged in a series of concentric rings, and the overall piece — measuring 10 feet in diameter — is circular, giving it the appearance of a mandala.

Seventy-Three in a Moment was in a private collection before being acquired for the permanent collection at the New Mexico Museum of Art, where it will be on exhibit later this year. The piece is now being treated at the conservation lab of the New Mexico History Museum.

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