COACHELLA 2015: Ambitious art transforms the festival


The Coachella Valley Art and Music Festival welcomed multiple art installations, many of which lit up. A caterpillar that became a butterfly was a highlight.


The most popular sight at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival wasn’t Sunday night headliner Drake or even celeb guest Justin Bieber – it was a giant yellow and black striped caterpillar.

Thousands of people snapped selfies with “Papilio Merraculous,” the roving art installation from Poetic Kinetics (the people behind the Coachella Snail in 2013 and last year’s giant astronaut) as it moved about the festival grounds.

Headline artists, electronic DJs and indie rockers may mark the scene at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, but it wouldn’t be Coachella without large-scale art installations to draw in crowds. Festival goers visited the 14 works for the atmosphere, for some shade, for the beauty and, of course, for the photo opportunity.

On Sunday, April 12, the third day of the festival, the caterpillar became yet another Coachella landmark, as it turned into a butterfly with multicolored wings that could flap up and down, drawing in Tim Mensalvas, 26, of San Diego.

“We kind of thought something like this might happen,” Mensalvas said as he sat with his girlfriend. “We were talking about how it kind of missed a step, though; it went from being a caterpillar straight to being a butterfly, but it was still really cool to see.”

For modern art enthusiasts and those who are curious about what this iteration of the festival brought to the art world, here is a selection of the artworks and some information about them.

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