Little things that run the world

E.O. Wilson calls insects “the little things that run the world”, referring to the disproportionate role that they and other invertebrates play in food webs, ecosystem services, and generating and maintaining biological diversity. Yet these little things, perilously acting out their roles on stages all around us every day, largely escape the notice of the casual observer. In this project we call attention to these dramas through unique and engaging images paired with biological facts and natural history to tell the stories of the global citizens responsible for the food on our tables, the spread of disease, and the resilience of our ecosystems.




This multimedia exhibit brings together nature and art in a unique celebration of biodiversity and the wonders of the natural world. Individually pieces stand alone as testaments to natural and sexual selection over millions of years of evolution, while pairings of artworks with actual specimens explore the human dimension of how we perceive and appreciate our fellow inhabitants on this earth.




Photographs by David Garnick provide larger than life impressions of the intricate beauty and unique morphologies of insects.


Sculptures by Gar Waterman bring life and dimension to beetles, highlighting their strength and fragility.

Specimens from the Essig Museum of Entomology collection form the foundation of the natural history and biodiversity stories behind the artwork.