Species Hotels was a public art work and school engagement curatorial project, that engaged artists, designers and scientists at the University of Tasmania with the specific Midlands community and local school of Ross, Tasmania. It fosters connections with students, research candidates and academic staff to help restore native animals’ habitats. In doing so, it developed innovative approaches to curriculum design in tertiary and primary education contexts; as well as models of interdisciplinary collaboration between science, art, design and education, addressing place-based and environmental concerns.
The project was funded by The Ian Potter Foundation ($20,000, 2016) with additional support from Greening Australia and in-kind support from the Museum of Old and New Art, as well as the local community of Ross. Following completion, a second generation of sculptures were designed and installed in 2019 and a third generation in 2020. Over 409 people have been involved in the last four years: 267 university students, 74 schoolchildren, 20 educators, 15 scientists, ten artists, two landowners, and community supporters. Further networks and partnership have emerged from the presence of the sculptures in traditional media, as well as academic and social media.