Museum adds art to pollinator garden

By Sara Thompson
Special for business

Last weekend, Explorit partnered with the UC Davis Art Fusion class to create a ceramic mosaic mural for the new Explorit Pollinator Garden. The families were helped by UCD and community artists to create bees, butterflies and flowers to add to the artwork.

Families participating in the art class made ceramic tiles that will be part of a larger mural depicting local plants and their pollinators. The finished artwork will be on display at a pollinator garden dedication later this spring and attendees are welcome to attend.

During the course, participants not only learned about art, but also about our native plants and their pollinators. They learned that pollinators are not just bees and butterflies, but can also be birds and mammals. Each plant relies on specific pollinators to collect pollen to spread to other plants for reproduction. A loss of the pollinator could lead to the destruction of the plant species. Similarly, the loss of a plant could reduce the food supply for pollinators and could also eradicate that species. Plants and their pollinators are in a delicate balance, and both need to be maintained.

Leading the class was Diane Ullman, Gale Okumura and Lisa Tell. Ullman recently received the UCD Distinguished Teaching Award for his outstanding teaching of undergraduate classrooms. She is a co-founder of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion program and directs science art classes.

Okumura is a Continuing Lecturer for the Design Program in the Humanities and Science Collection at UCD. Her years of experience and dedication to helping not only students, but her community has led her to serve on the boards of various organizations and nonprofits in the area. Tell is part of the Department of Veterinary Science at UC Davis. She provided attendees with information about our local pollinators, especially hummingbirds.

Explorit would like to thank everyone involved in organizing these art classes, especially Julie Langston, Explorit Board Member, who did the majority of the planning and collaboration for the classes. Many thanks to Ullman, Okumura and Tell for leading the classes. Also, thanks to Heather Eckels, Valerie Jones, Sarah Rizzo, and Teresa Slack for all their help during class and preparations before and after.

We look forward to displaying the mural in our Pollinator Garden for all guests to view and enjoy, while learning about our local plants and their pollinators.


Upcoming Exploit Events:

* Spaces are still available for our summer science camps for those entering grades 3-6. All camps run from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and will have indoor and outdoor components. The price is $175 for members/$200 for non-members. Register for summer camp at Campsites are limited, so register now!

* Explorit is open to the public on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Free for Explorit, ASTC members and children under 2 years old. Masks will continue to be mandatory for entry.

* An Explorit membership not only supports us, but grants the recipient free tours during regular Explorit business hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits for visiting other museums around the world. To purchase or for more information, visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

* Like many small businesses, the closures have had a significant impact on our revenue and sustainability. Now is the perfect time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow:

– Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information, call 530-756-0191 or visit, or “like” the Facebook page at .fb.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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