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Insects invade Science Museum of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's field trip day for Ms. Annie Goldman's class and there are bugs everywhere.

Moths to be exact.

"I'm traveling with a group of boys today," the Colonial Trail Elementary School teacher said. "[They are] super excited."

"Night Pollinators" is the name of the Science Museum of Virginia's new art exhibit.

“We use this exhibition to excite people about the bio-diversity in their own backyards," Museum Scientist Dr. Eugene Maurakis said.

The exhibit, created by Deborah Davis, features more than a dozen paintings of moth species that call Central Virginia home .

Davis' interest in moths started in the 1960s when, as a 10-year-old girl, she would wander around Richmond's Forest Hill Park .

"A lot of people don't understand moths," Dr. Maurakis said. "They see these at night and think they're a nuisance.  But really the moths are part of the ecological food chain.  Agriculture in the U.S. is about a $15 billion industry."

Davis creates her moth artwork from subjects she gathers using a sheet and black light in her backyard.

After she catches a new species she photographs it and then paints from the photo.

"Ooh, these are so cool.  I like the snow one," one excited Colonial Trail student said.

The students are drawn, like moths to a bright light, to the 30 x 40-inch acrylic paintings.

"I do think it excites them," Ms. Goldman said. "And they're able to see more of the adaptations or the ways in which they might change due to their surroundings."

Building excitement is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesday on CBS 6.