A new project to help celebrate Papillion’s 150th birthday is beginning to take flight around the city.

The Wings Over Papillion butterfly bench project is taking shape and the Butterfly Bench Ccmmittee has big plans in prepping for Papillion’s milestone event.

These benches, a unique butterfly shape designed by Papillion artist Al Rhea, will begin popping up around the city in the spring of 2020. But the groundwork for these benches has already begun as artists from across the area are lining up to have their design painted on the benches.

“It’s a unique project and the only one with that name,” said Ken Molzer, chairperson for the Butterfly Bench Committee. “It’s a good way to incorporate an arts project into the Papillion 150 celebration.”

Although each bench will feature the same structure, they will have a unique look as artists will put their own touches on each bench. Molzer said more than 80 artists have already put their names in the hat for a chance to design one of the benches.

Those artists will have until mid-July to submit a 12-inch model of their bench design. A display event will take place on Aug. 5 at Cobalt Credit Union where the artists work will be put on display.

The goal of the benches has many layers. Along with giving local artists a chance to have their work displayed, it will also be another facet in helping the city celebrate 150 years as well as serving as a fundraising mechanism.

A $3,500 sponsorship fee will accompany each bench. Molzer said 10 benches will be constructed initially with more being made depending on the demand from sponsors.

Each bench costs about $1,600 to produce and each artist will receive $1,000 for their completed work. Clear coating, local transport and plaques with artist and sponsor information will be included in the $3,500 sponsor fee.

Molzer said the goal of the project is for the benches to be on display throughout the city. Businesses could place the bench on their own property or benches could be donated back to the city and placed at a number of designated sites. Molzer said the benches will be put in place from Easter (April 12) through Labor Day (Sept. 7) and will remain in place for years to come.

Sponsors have the choice of selecting their own artist. All models for the benches must be approved by the Butterfly Bench Committee and no sponsor logos or advertisements are allowed on the benches.

Maps will be available to show the locations of all the benches.

Anyone wishing to purchase a bench can contact the Papillion Community Foundation at 402-331-3917.

Email: eric.taylor@papilliontimes.com Phone: 402-505-3613

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