Ole Schell: The Magic of Creating a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary -
Ole Schell photo by Luke Harrington, 2021.

Coastal Marin Artists Gallery

Ole Schell: The Magic of Creating a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

June 11 - August 6, 2022


Curated by Louisa Gloger and Elia Haworth

Award-winning filmmaker, director, and farmer Ole Schell grew up in Bolinas on his father’s Niman/Schell Ranch, where the annual arrival of thousands of Western Monarch butterflies was a dependable autumn phenomenon. The alarming decline in this butterfly population has moved Schell to establish a Western Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on his family land in Bolinas. With extensive research, partnership with specialists, and a creative vision, Schell has planted hundreds of native plants and developed a program to support the butterflies and inform and inspire the public. This exhibition shares the magic of creating the project through Schell’s short film, local art incorporating Monarchs, photographs, and informative text.

Born in Bolinas to activists, writer/rancher Orville Schell and photographer Ilka Hartman, Ole Schell graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is the founder of the West Marin Monarch Sanctuary and partner in Orville Schell Farms, growing a host of crops. When not tending to his family land, he works around the globe, creating diverse documentaries and ads for major companies with an emphasis on sustainability and electric cars. His documentaries have been released theatrically and on TV by the Sundance Channel, RTL, Warner Brothers, Channel 4 in the UK, and many more.

Related Exhibition
Elizabeth Weber: An Homage to Western Monarch Butterflies

Related Event
Saturday, July 9, 4 PM
PANEL DISCUSSION: The Science and Art of Creating A Butterfly Sanctuary in Bolinas with Ole Schell, Mia Monroe, and Audrey Fusco

Watch Ole Schell’s video overview of his Western Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary project:

In the News:
Snider, Mike, “Early hopeful signs from California’s plan to bring back monarch butterflies.” October 18, 2021, USA Today.
Chow, Denise, “Monarch butterflies are being wiped out. These combat veterans are trying to save them.” September 25, 2021, NBC News.