Chrysalis by Nikki Pike

By Jenny Zeller

Artist Nikki Pike with Chrysalis.

Nikki Pike with Chrysalis.The first installation to grace the grounds of the L+A+N+D site is Chrysalis by Nikki Pike, an environmental artist, and activist from Denver, Colorado. Chrysalis is the next in Nikki’s series of bark covered geometric forms, which ignite wonder and awe, while also inviting reflection on humans’ connection to nature and emphasizing the value of our precious resources. 

Like many artists who create work at Bernheim, Nikki built her largest installation to date, which was elevated by the skills and knowledge of our Operations team and Volunteers, with special assistance from Assistant Curator Hannah Coleman-Zaitzeff! She also worked with volunteers to collect the bark for the installation, activating so many Bernheim community members in the creation of Chrysalis.



Suspended between two tulip poplar trees, Chrysalis is a diamond bark-covered shape that inspires wonder and awe upon encountering. The work is covered with Tulip Poplar and Ash bark, honoring the official state tree of Kentucky, while reminding us of the devastating effects of the emerald ash borers on Ash trees in the state and throughout the country. Make sure to stop by on sunny days to witness how it captures beautiful sun reflections, much like a diamond does!

Nikki working on Chrysalis at the Lakeside Studio


Nikki Pike is an Artist and Activist committed to serving the community through her art practice and role as an educator. Nikki sees herself as a Cultural Agent working together with local communities promoting activity and creativity. With her an expansive practice, Nikki straddles Public Arts, Social Sculpture, Service Art and is exploring ideas of Relief Art intended to aide communities responding to disaster. Her work has been featured at the Denver Art Museum, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and Art Basel Miami to name a few. Currently Nikki resides in Denver, Colorado and holds a professorship at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.


L+A+N+D (Landscape + Art + Nature + Design), an exciting, new initiative that annually celebrates innovative design concepts for immersive outdoor installations on a grand scale that will spark imaginations, conversations, and a deeper appreciation of the natural world. Designed and constructed by artists, architects, landscape architects, and designers, successful L+A+N+D proposals provide engaging experiences with topics addressing humans’ connection to nature, beauty in the landscape, biodiversity, conservation, sustainability, climate change, and climate justice.

Opening to the public in Summer 2024. Stay tuned for more details!

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