Emma Hardy

The Boulder Beetles

Mixed media wearables and performance
Location: Pearl Street Mall

About the Project


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.

About the Artist


Emma Hardy was born in Lincolnshire, England. She earned a BA honors in sculpture at the Wimbledon School of Art in London. Emma currently resides in Jamestown, CO. She employs mixed media in her work ranging from paper to bronze. Most recently she has been making large-scale works using recycled waste materials with a finish layer of recycled paper.

Special thanks to the following:

  • Greta Balzer for her amazing help with fabrication and painting.  www.gretabalzerartist.com
  • Anne Breiler for her seemingly endless volunteering
  • Carol Jenkins  for her moral support.  www.caroljenkinsoils.com
  • Martine Amade for painting the Kenya Kisumu Beetle.  www.amadeart.com
  • 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