Art Exhibition: Julio Micheli’s “Beetles of Puerto Rico”

Julio Micheli’s “Coleópteros de Puerto Rico” [Beetles of Puerto Rico] is not to be missed. The exhibition features 72 exquisite scientific drawings of long-horned beetles by leading entomologist and artist from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Julio Micheli, plus specimen cases and object-boxes showing parts of the artist’s personal collection of specimens from Puerto Rico and around the world. Through the study of insects, specifically beetles, the artist explores the convergence between art and science. The exhibition, which opened on November 10, 2010, will be on view until October 10, 2011, at the Ponce Museum of Art.

Description: In the Animal Kingdom, among the terrestrial species, beetles comprise one of the most numerous insect groups; there are approximately 350,000 species. The most obvious feature that differentiates the beetles from other insects has to do with the wings. Long-horned beetles, the central focus of the exhibition, are distinguished from most of the species by their long antennae, which sometimes surpass by far the length of the body.

The drawings presented in the exhibition were made with graphite pencil, in different shades, on special textured paper. Most of the illustrations were based on specimens from the collection of the author and his daughter, also an entomologist and teacher.

From a young age, Julio Micheli took particular interest in nature; his first insect collection was made when he was only a child. [. . .] Perhaps it is no coincidence that Micheli found his passion in this group of beetles for the past 30 years, similar to his passion for art. [. . .] This exhibition presents a beautiful intersection between these two passions.

Julio Micheli was a university professor for 33 years, teaching courses in painting— oil, acrylic, and watercolor—drawing fundamentals in color and design, advertising design, screen printing, intaglio, photography, history and concepts of modern art. Micheli has a vast body of work in various media ranging from screen printing to acrylic paintings. His triptych “El hechicero” [The Sorcerer] is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Art of Ponce.

For more on the exhibition, see http://coapr.org/notes/Julio_Micheli_-_cole%C3%B3pteros_de_Puerto_Rico_en_el_Museo_de_Ponce_hasta_Octubre_10,_2011 and http://www.museoarteponce.org/exhibiciones/Exhibitions/3/41/

For more on Micheli, see http://www.juliomicheli.com/home.htm

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