Participating Artist: Emma Hardy

Emma Hardy Beetles
Experiments in Public Art: Emma Hardy's "Boulder Beetles"

The Boulder Beetles

Emma Hardy
Jamestown, CO

Emma Hardy created a group of large scale, wearable, street puppets. They are in the form of larger-than-life beetles, animated with moveable parts and a blend of insect and human characteristics. Puppetry is an ancient, international, and compelling form of storytelling and entertainment, an interactive and sensational access to fantasy. Through dance & storytelling these beetles provide a compelling platform to engage and educate their audience about diversity, both in the cultural and animal kingdoms.

Hardy chose beetles as her subject due to their infinite variation, their unthreatening characteristics, complexity, and often fantastical nature. They are beautiful, otherworldly, luminescent, the very definition of diversity. Beetles hold a mystical, even a sacred place in some cultures. Each of Hardy’s five beetles are a unique species, representing Boulder and four of Boulder’s International Sister Cities.

If you are interested in participating in Emma’s Boulder Beetles, please email

Special thanks to the following:

  • Greta Balzer for her amazing help with fabrication and painting.
  • Anne Breiler for her seemingly endless volunteering
  • Carol Jenkins  for her moral support.
  • Martine Amade for painting the Kenya Kisumu Beetle.
  • Val Fike for her help making costumes.
  • Harrison (Sawyer) Wright, a dedicated student willing to give up his Sundays for art.
  • Additional thanks to: Audrey Randall, Mike Kent, Jacob Brotherton, Karen De Vincenzo,  Hayden Mans, Emma Vigers, David Mans, and Kevin Hanlon
  • Boulder High school Art teacher Virginia Schick and her National Art Honor Society students:  Maddie Werner, Amanda Worthy, Anna Daly, Audrey Leonard,  Maya Wilson,  Sophie Gabriel, Taylor Coil, Megan Houlihan, Emily Hanson,  Camille Britton, Caroline Bertini, Katya Lieun, Kaya, Annie Koval, Kate Brackley,  Asher Blackburn, Avery Banik, Blythe Feeney & Seani Anderson