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Frisco Artists Soar With Butterflies (May, 2007)

May 2007 Butterfly winnerEach year, Frisco art teachers begin to pull out their lesson plans on symmetry and books about butterflies when they know Butterfly day is near!  That is because there is a tradition in entering the EmilyAnn Theatre’s annual butterfly art contest each spring.

There is more to this special contest than meets the eye.  The contest’s tradition began back in 1999 when Ann and Norm Rolling decided to take a tragic situation and turn it into a “magic” situation.  They lost their daughter, EmilyAnn, in an automobile accident.  With boundless energy re-directed, they, with the help of their Wimberley, Texas community, built a beautiful park as an outdoor theatre for local thespians to perform at.  You see, EmilyAnn loved the theatre.  The family and community have a great respect for all of the fine arts – including visual art.  That’s where the butterflies “fly in.”  Since butterflies can be a symbol of hope and renewal, they decided to add a butterfly contest and also hatch live butterflies to be released in honor of loved ones lost.  So each year on the third Saturday in April, you can see tiny butterflies scurrying about the rolling hills of Emily Ann Theatre.   

Frisco started getting involved with this endeavor when EmilyAnn’s sister, Rebecca, resided in Frisco.  She presented her story to the Frisco Noon Rotary Club in the attendance of Dr. Rick Reedy, FISD Superintendent, and the story touched him so that he wanted the district’s art teachers to get involved.  The rest, as they say, is history!


This year’s involvement has grown by leaps and bounds.  As the contest continues to grow; the theatre expands and more events are added.  This year, in addition to selecting a butterfly for their festival T-shirts, the theatre selected art for a calendar they plan on printing in 2008.


Thousands of paper butterflies were created across the district to enter.  This year ten Frisco art teachers and the new director of Fine Arts, Dr. Daryl Trent, represented the FISD art program by attending the festival on April 21, 2007.   Several Frisco Art Students were honored with ribbons and honors.  “This contest is professionally juried and the judges take it very seriously; they take hours and hours to make their selections” Norm Rollings expressed this to a few Frisco art teachers as they collected the butterflies to bring back to Frisco. 

In addition to their trip to Wimberley, the art teachers attended an art workshop as a staff development opportunity.  George Krause, a world renowned artist and photographer, provided a tour of his Wimberley studio and shared his art expertise and processes that he uses which combine art, photography, and technology. Click here to see winners.