MUCH ADO ABOUT BEES

On display: May 29th, 2017 - Sept 25th, 2018 

Artist Reception: June 10th, 2017 from 6 to 9 pm

Hosted by: Farm Table Foundation - 110 Keller Avenue North, Amery - Wisconsin

Jessica Turtle, a mid-western rugrat, artist, and curatorial steward started the Natural Heritage Project after she caught wind of the Natural Heritage Working List (NHWL). Immediately, she began calling on artists, each rallied by the discovery of the NHWL. She wanted to create a space to invite artists to begin chipping away at the list, one species at a time, to create a collection of works for each species. Jessica continues to organize and will not stop until every last species identified on the list has a voice, or even better still, is represented by a well considered, articulate visual work of art. Naturally, the project will twist and bend as it grows subscribe to follow along.  

The NHP is currently displaying its work in downtown Amery, Wisconsin. The space is beautiful and the response has been exceptional. "Much Ado About Bees" was a test exhibit where Jessica created work that focused on six native bumblebee species whose population is at risk in Wisconsin and she also represented the ever-popular honey bee.

The exhibit was a playground for the senses. Honey bees were represented as a way to connect people to something beloved and familiar as the artist gently encouraged further investigation into the very beautiful and gentle world of native bumblebees. Many people were surprised at what they didn't know and eager to protect bumblebee habitat on their own property. 

The exhibit displayed seven species of native bumblebees in a series of vibrant and scientific paintings, there was a hand-woven sun hive made by artist Kelsey Love of Minneapolis, and three custom bee boxes hand-painted by Christy Schwartz of St. Paul in the likeness of historically famous works of art. Also on display were beekeepers’ tools provided by Minnetonka Gold Honey, a sampling table with fourteen unique varieties of local honey, and a mannequin aptly dressed in beekeepers’ clothing. Guests were invited to enjoy a beautiful array of honey based foods, and a tasting of Wisconsin/Minnesota—made mead (honey wine).