pursuit of this vision, using insect specimens and a
microscope, Huebing-Reitinger began creating over-sized
portraits of insects. Acting on a suggestion from her
husband, James Reitinger, she decided to execute the
paintings within a public space, calling the concept
Project InSECT. Because she did not have a scientific
background, Huebing-Reitinger sought the help of the
Entomology departments at Kansas State University and
Kansas University. With their support she began educating
herself. Over the last two years, the project has grown
at a rapid pace. Project InSECT has been hosted at Kansas
Science City, the Kansas City Zoo, Powell Gardens, and
the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Her future plans
are to take the exhibition to the west coast and from
there on to international exhibition.
Unlike most other artists or illustrators, Huebing-Reitinger
does not sell her original works of art. Instead, she travels with
them as an integral part of her exhibition. On location, she publicly
creates new works, illustrating a continuing variety of specimens
provided by zoos and other entomological collections. As her work
evolves, so does the project. Her current focus is on endangered
insects, such as the Nebraska Tiger Beetle. As a performance painter,
Huebing-Reitinger’s process is also very different other illustrators.
Dangling from a ladder, paint brush in hand, she sees herself as
a bridge between the scientist and the general public.
arteriosa, a dragonfly indigenous to Kenya. This specimen was captured in
1987 and painted at Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri in 2004. Oil on
canvas, 9' x 7.5'.
Chalybion californicum, a waisted wasp was collected and
donated by an 11 year old boy in Omaha, Nebraska .
Oil on canvas, 2’ x 4,’ 2004.