An Oklahoma City artist brings larger than life fireflies to Myriad Gardens for nightly shows

Great State

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — We find them just before sunset on a dark garden island downtown.

Artist Nathan Pratt and his assistant Aiden Gleason are putting the finishing touches on an art installation that began last fall with a simple word, fireflies.

“That was the open concept,” he says, “and they gave me the freedom to explore within that.”

As the light lowers to near dark, they’re easier to see.

Pratt’s fireflies are larger than life, pulsing at just the right intervals with just the right color, fading in and out with a precision that Nathan and his small team spent weeks perfecting.

“All those variables that make a firefly look like a firefly,” he explains. “I think we’ve come close to mimicking that.”

A jumble of pathways within the Myriad Botanical Gardens meet here at the old Meinders’ Grove.

Pratt places some of his fireflies close so people could approach them and others within the foliage, invisible until the light comes on.

Nathan hopes, he says, “to tap into the nostalgia of a field they crossed when they were growing up or a farm they would visit in the summers of their youth.”

In the description of his exhibit, Pratt talks about the malleable nature of light, bright to dim, always changing.

The ‘fugitive’ light at sunset gives way to the elusive ‘night time butterfly’.

“We’re hoping it brings back good memories,” he says.

The city outside shines with manmade illumination twinkling in the summer air.

But deeper in the shadows, a much older, more magical light still shines.

Nathan Pratt has seen real fireflies right beside his own.

“I’ve seen them out here in the past week while we’ve been working.”

The real article and the art pulse together at night falls.

The Myriad Gardens installation is called ‘Fireflies’.

‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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