If you’ve ever walked or biked through the heart of Carmel on the Monon Trail, you’ve probably seen this, an oversized butterfly next to the Carmel Clay Historical Society house in the old Carmel train depot. . It is part of an educational artwork depicting the short and happy life of a butterfly through all its stages. The sculpture is the brainchild and creation of Scott Osborne of Carmel.
“They had this idea that they wanted to turn the left side of their building into a little butterfly garden,” Osborne said as he stood next to his creation. “And they wanted a sculpture to accentuate it.”
The sculpture is made of steel and recycled auto parts, which seem like unlikely materials for creating a butterfly’s velvety wings or the soft, spongy caterpillar that precedes the butterfly.
“It’s kind of created from more industrial types of metals,” Osborne said proudly. “I think it has a really unique final look. Something that might not be appreciated at first, but it’s a really cool process to work with.
Osborne incorporates found objects into all of his work, stuff the rest of us might think of as junk. The butterfly and caterpillar comprise parts of an automobile’s exhaust system. He also uses found objects to construct his own tools and instruments. In his workshop in Carmel, he showed us a four-horsepower belt sander he was building from parts he had found.
Although the artist has lived in Carmel all his life, he deeply appreciates this community and the commission he received to make the butterfly sculpture.
“I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity,” he said. “I am very grateful, honored in fact. I think it’s one of the coolest communities to be part of.
Just hours after interviewing Osborne, the entire train depot and sculpture were removed from their home on the Monon Trail. A new museum structure should be built in the coming months. Once this work is completed, the deposit and Osborne’s sculpture will be returned.