Colleen O’Hara

Author / Illustrator

For centuries the butterfly has been a representation of transformation. It signifies change, growth, movement, so it is no surprise author and illustrator Colleen O’Hara sees the butterfly as a symbol for her own life as well as a catalyst for a deeper understanding of her work.

Having grown up in Ypsilanti, MI., outside of Ann Arbor, O’Hara’s roots were always grounded in the Upper Peninsula. Summers and winters were spent making pilgrimages across the Mackinac Bridge to visit family on Moccasin Lake; and in 1997, with a B.S. in Theatre and Art from Eastern Michigan University, O’Hara moved to the Ishpeming area. Her love for the U.P. has only grown stronger over the years and it has propelled her into a series of roles. It wasn’t until 1998, when she was asked to guest speak on the topic of forgiveness at Marquette’s Universal Unitarian Church, that The Butterfly Woman was born. What O’Hara thought would be a children’s talk transformed when she sat down at her computer and the words poured effortlessly out of her. With a message of self-love and forgiveness, the story illustrates O’Hara’s deeply felt connection to the butterfly and what it represents.

Making a living as a professional actor for more than 20 years, O’Hara’s professional work has centered primarily on creative arts. As such, she wears many hats and takes on varied creative endeavors. O’Hara was founder and artistic director of The Westend Theatre Co. for two years, taught art at North Star Academy and she founded and owns O’Hara has been writing and creating art for the past eight years, where the butterfly continues to serve as both inspiration and vision.

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