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Artist's Mormon-cricket exhibit 'Swarm' opens at NMA


When Mormon crickets swarmed into tiny Tuscarora, north of Elko, several years ago, residents were dumbfounded. Millions of the omnivorous insects descended on the ghost-town-turned artists'-enclave in what since is a yearly phenomenon.

Tuscarora part-time resident and sculptor Elaine Parks has turned the hungry bugs into art in a 1,000-plus-piece installation that runs at the Nevada Museum of Art through March 1.

Made of unfired clay that Parks had around as scraps, the bugs are 3 to 4 inches long, about three times life-size, Parks said. Because the crickets are unfired, she said if they're left outside and exposed to the elements of nature, they'll revert back to earth. The legs are made of wire coated with glue.

"Each is so small they were not much work, and they're recyclable, also," she said.

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