“Resilient, determined, courageous and beautiful… You have the qualities to transform your world…” –Susan Lordi (artist).
These words – resilient, determined, courageous, beautiful – all describe not only the life journey of the monarch butterfly, but also our own G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM Girl Scouts. When you think about the journey a butterfly goes through – from caterpillar to cocoon to breaking out of its shell to becoming one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet – its resilient strength only gets amplified. It’s no wonder this creature was the inspiration for the Kansas City based, internationally known artist behind Willow Tree®, Susan Lordi.
Strongly influenced by nature, art history, architecture, ballet and her family, Susan conceives and creates each Willow Tree piece at her studio in Kansas City, MO, surrounded by the robust art scene of the Crossroads district. After Susan sculpts and carves the original, it is then cast in resin that perfectly captures each of her knife marks. Each piece is then hand-painted, based on coloration and techniques unique to Willow Tree.
Many of us have strong memories with one of Susan’s creations. Her gesture-focused figures, with their elegant simplicity, invoke memories for anyone who has received one as a gift. Maybe it was a graduation gift, maybe a brother gave it to a sister, maybe a mother gave it to her daughter at her wedding. No matter the occasion, if you have a Willow Tree sculpture, it has meaning for you. In Susan’s words, “Willow Tree isn’t so much about the tangible piece. It represents an emotion, or it marks a memory”.
For 2018, Susan Lordi created a very special sculpture that combines the power of a girl with the resilience of the monarch butterfly…all accented with gold. Inspired by her love of the prairie, butterflies and the strength of women, “Butterfly” the sculpture was born. Girls. Strength. Gold.
“Butterfly” beautifully captures the essence of being a Girl Scout. The journey a monarch goes through sounds very similar to the growth of a Girl Scout from Daisy to Ambassador – finding strength and becoming more beautiful as she learns to spread her wings and fly. Because Willow Tree sculptures are all about the personal stories behind them…Willow Tree, DEMDACO and Girl Scouts invite YOU to tell YOUR butterfly story!
Beginning TODAY, February 12, Girl Scout Junior, Cadette, Senior & Ambassador troops and individual (Indy) Girl Scouts are invited to submit their “Butterfly” story for an awesome contest. Your story will want to embody what it means to you to be resilient, determined and courageous. How do you take action to change the world? How have you grown or will continue to grow into the beautiful monarch butterfly? We want this to be a girl-led activity, include plenty of creativity (submit artwork, a powerpoint, a video, etc.) and show others the power of being a Girl Scout!
Our story submission process will end on Girl Scouts’ 106th birthday – March 12th, with winners announced on Tuesday, March 20th, the first day of Spring. Our friends at Willow Tree and DEMDACO will select the winning entries – including Susan herself!
What do the winning “Butterfly” storytellers receive? Each Girl Scout in the troop and her leader(s) will receive her/his own “Butterfly” sculpture AND complimentary entry to April 14th’s Inspire a Girl! We will also feature the winning stories at Inspire a Girl and get a special photo opportunity. A minimum of two troops or Indy Girl Scouts will be selected from each region (Central, East, West & North).
Learn more and submit your entry here between Feb. 12 – Mar. 12, 2018. We can’t wait to see these awesome “butterfly stories” from our amazing Girl Scouts!
Watch this special message from Susan!
A special thanks to DEMDACO for their incredibly generous donation of the “Butterfly” sculptures, and to Susan and Karen Lordi (artist and writer sisters behind Willow Tree) for making this contest possible. Stay tuned for more exciting “Butterfly” announcements coming soon!