by Terry Rogers
Claudia Leister, Executive Director of the Milford Museum, has always believed that Milford has not taken advantage of the fact that our state bug, the ladybug, originated in the town. In an effort to create a fun, “selfie” spot near the museum, Leister researched the company that created the Augusta models located throughout town and found that they made a ladybug version.
“It was Mollie Brown’s second grade class from Lulu M. Ross Elementary School that led the project and went to the State Legislature with their petition,” Leister explained. “The day I was researching the statue, we had two visitors, Airforce General William Weiser III and his father. They were so enthused that Bill III made a sizable donation the next day toward the purchase of the statue. He also informed his adult children that they, too, should make a donation toward the purchase for his upcoming birthday. Thanks to this suggestion, the entire statute was paid for by the Weiser family.”
Once the Museum Board agreed to purchase and install the statue, Board Member and local artist Nadia Zychal was approached about using her talents to paint the bug. Zychal posted the painting progress on social media where someone suggested that she be named “Lulu the Ladybug,” which Leister felt was fitting.
“The colors were mostly inspired by nature,” Zychal said about her inspiration for the artistry used on the ladybug. “Obviously, ladybugs don’t have adorable cartoon faces and don’t wear Mary Jane shoes or makeup, but I thought that using the metallic bronze color from the wings made the face a tad bit more insect like. I’m a member of the Museum board and art is my thing. If art is needed for the Museum, and for Milford, I do my best to contribute my time and skills for our community.”
Once Lulu was ordered, Joan and Sudler Lofland agreed to have the statue delivered to the Vinyard Shipyard and to be painted there.
“My goal was to have Lulu installed before the Ladybug Music Festival,” Leister said. “My husband was able to get it bolted to the front of landing of the Milford Museum the morning of the festival.”
Even as it was being installed, Leister said that people were stopping by to take photos of Lulu.
“Seeing families taking selfies with Lulu the day she was installed made it more than worthwhile,” Zychal said.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.