The Caterpillar Lab fosters greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives, and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes towards the broader natural systems of this world is built.

© 2015 CATERPILLAR LAB INC.  With original artwork by Heather Reid and Samuel Jaffe

 

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OUR ROOTS IN THE VISUAL ARTS

Samuel Jaffe's "The Caterpillars of New England"
FILM • PHOTOGRAPHY • ILLUSTRATION • DANCE

Founder Samuel Jaffe's "The Caterpillars of New England" photography collection  provided the initial inspiration behind The Caterpillar Lab.

 

It all started with the pictures. After realizing the excitement generated by his work, Sam Jaffe began to show live caterpillars at galleries.  Caterpillar shows and exhibits quickly followed and the multifacited "The Caterpillar Lab" was born.

 

Art and creativity continue to be central to how The Caterpillar Lab interacts with its subject and its audiences.  

 

We just love to explore the relationships between these often disperate pursuits!

TCL Founder Sam Jaffe's "The Caterpillars of New England" 

 

It all started with the photographs. After realizing the excitement generated by his work, Sam Jaffe began to show live caterpillars at gallery openings. Larger caterpillar shows and exhibits quickly followed and the multi-faceted "The Caterpillar Lab" was born.

 

Art and creativity continue to be central to how The Caterpillar Lab interacts with its subject and its audiences. During most summer days Sam's camera is still clicking away at the lab.  We just love to explore the relationships between the arts and sciences!

Samuel Jaffe's "The Caterpillars of New England"

Art and illustration were once central to the study of Natural History.  The Caterpillar Lab hopes to carry on this tradition and see it thrive again.

 

Caterpillars and their amazing transformations were central themes to early naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian.   On her travels to Surinam she painted the complete life cycles of numerous species.

 

Maria is often credited as the first person to popularize the notion of insect metamorphosis. Before her it was widely believed that insects just spontaneously sprang forth from the ingredients of earth and water.

Maria Sibylla Merian's "The Insects of Surinam"

At The Caterpillar Lab we hope to continue to inspire creative works of all kinds. Watch this page grow over the years and see what strange and wonderful things we can come up with! 

 

Here is one of our favorite caterpillar inspired moments, a dance production based on the defensive adaptations of two caterpillars - a "day" and "night caterpillar"

 

It turns out caterpillars are great movers!  They shake their rumps, wag their heads, inflate weird horns, and inch, crawl, and squirm their way through the world.  We hope more dancers will take notice and try out some larval moves.

Caterpillar dance production by Marissa Sher