If you’ve ever strolled or cycled through the heart of Carmel on the Monon Trail, you’ve likely seen it, an outsized butterfly beside the Carmel Clay Historical Society’s home in the former Carmel train depot. It is part of an educational work of art tracing the short, happy life of a butterfly through all of its stages. The sculpture is the brainchild and creation of Carmel’s own Scott Osborne.
“They had this idea that they wanted to turn the left side of their building into a little butterfly garden,” Osborne said as he stood beside his creation. “And, they wanted a sculpture to accent it.”
The sculpture is made of steel and recycled automobile parts, which would seem to be unlikely materials for the creation of a butterfly’s velvet wings or the supple, spongy caterpillar that precedes the butterfly.
“This is kind of creating out of more industrial types of metal,” Osborne said proudly. “I think that has a really unique final look. Something that might not be appreciated initially, but it’s a really cool process to work with.”
Osborne incorporates found objects into all of his work, stuff the rest of us might regard as junk. The butterfly and caterpillar include parts of an automobile’s exhaust system. He also uses found objects to build his own tools and implements. In his Carmel workshop, he showed us a four-horsepower belt sander he was in the process of building from parts he had found.
Although the artist has lived in Carmel his entire life, he is deeply appreciative of that community and of the commission he received to make the butterfly sculpture.
“I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity,” he said. “I’m very grateful, honored actually. I think it’s one of the coolest communities to be a part of.”
Just hours after we interviewed Osborne, the entire train depot and sculpture were removed from their home on the Monon Trail. A new museum structure is set to be constructed in the coming months. When that work is complete, the depot and Osborne’s sculpture will be returned.