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Izzy the Frog in Lumina Land

Housatonic Museum, Bridgeport, CT

Izzy the Frog in Lumina Land was an experiential exhibition, which will lead the viewers/participants through a landscape of reflective ponds of water, moving images and light, glass structures, bubbling water tanks, a series of large drawn images, accompanied by a sound track produced in collaboration with Istvan Peter B'Racz.

The exhibition illustrated stories of the evolution of our relationship with toads and frogs as symbols of transformation through multicultural myths and as the species of warning of universal ecological breakdown. Bringing Izzy the Frog to an urban setting, creating surrealistic installations of media art of and about nature in the Housatonic Museum emphasized the need for environmental awareness beyond rural locations. The sound of a frog can be heard in nearly any environment that provides water. We all know what the sound is like. Children will know the sound from stories-fairy tales to contemporary.

The Izzy exhibition created a multi-sensory experience that will be so engaging that the audience will be drawn to spend time within the exhibition to discover the source of the imagery-the use of the frog image throughout human history to represent change and transformation. Accompanying frog music
will be triggered by the participants through sensors.

The exhibition is intended to pull together the interests and audiences of the Beardsley Zoo, with their amphibian exhibit, the Ball Park at Harbor Yard, with their public appeal, and the Housatonic Museum to create a series of works that will both offer a wondrous and unique experience for all ages while introducing an educational opportunity to become proactive in environmental stewardship. The combined efforts of these three institutions will make a significant contribution in bringing the variety of populations in Fairfield County and beyond, and offer a unique opportunity for visitors from other parts of the state and the northeast to visit Bridgeport.

There will be an accompanying catalogue, with a brief history of frogs, to include allegorical figures in world cultures and their biological history around the world and throughout time. We are seeking contributions from biologists from Yale University and the Beardsley Zoo.

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2001 Joy Wulke