Houston Artist Brings Rare Butterflies Back to Life

'Butterfly Sunset'

AS A NEW season is upon us, those who appreciate the natural world should head over to Bisong Art Gallery for Houston artist Cassandra Bohne-L’s The Evolution of Beauty, opening Friday, Sept. 16.

The show is a collection of Bohne-L’s colorful, symbolically charged oil and acrylic paintings of exotic trees, midnight blooms and dreamlike landscapes, as well as a series of fully operational clocks, each made with real, preserved, ethically sourced butterflies. It’s the perfect exhibit for anyone ready to say goodbye to the drought of summer, and hello to the transformative cycle of autumn.

Like many of the artists represented by Carla Bisong’s eponymous gallery, the sole Black woman-owned commercial art space in Downtown, Bohne-L came to making art after pursuing an entirely different career path. While in the corporate world, working in finance and accounting, she discovered painting in her spare time to be very therapeutic. After getting married and starting a family, Bohne-L realized painting was her true passion, and decided to use her skills to turn that passion into a viable business. Bohne-L’s path is similar to Bisong’s, who left a full-time gig with Merrill Lynch in order to fully commit herself to selling art.

“What I try to do with my paintings is evoke a sense of life, resurrection and hope,” says Bohne-L, who is a member of the North American Butterfly Association, and uses rare butterflies from around the world in her works. In a controlled environment free of human-made and natural predators, adult butterflies typically have a life-span of just one month, though some species can live up to nine months. “The butterflies are essentially brought back to life in my paintings,” says Bohne-L, whose fantastical butterfly clocks are also available at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The Evolution of Beauty at Bisong Art Gallery runs through Nov. 4.

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