The Big Idea
April 13 - June 22, 2018
This BIG IDEA project explores the central role pollinators play in our food supply and our environment. It offers a community-wide conversation about the challenges bees and pollinators face today, from colony collapse disorder to shrinking habitat. One factor behind The Center’s decision to pursue a project on bees is the appeal the topic holds for contemporary artists working across the disciplines. The project presents work by visual artists, filmmakers and playwrights who have all chosen to illuminate the mysterious world of bees and other pollinators through their artistic practices, celebrating pollinators’ diversity and their contributions to our ecosystems. The Bees BIG IDEA project offers opportunities to learn about steps we can take to help all kinds of pollinator species. It features a wide variety of events, ranging from seed-paper-making workshops to the installation of an outdoor seed-paper quilt and pollinator pasture, from a class on cooking with honey to a backyard beekeeping workshop, and more. We invite you to take part in these events and join in the conversation.
Museum exhibition generously supported by the Dawson Family.
View Exhibition Photo Gallery
Partnering with Cameron Cartiere and the chART Collective as part of their ongoing project Border Free Bees, The Center worked with community volunteers to make paper embedded with native pollinator plant seeds. 3,333 bees were cut from the paper and installed on The Center’s walls and ceiling alongside 6,667 bees from earlier Border Free Bees projects. In June, The Center’s staff and volunteers will lay the sheets from which the bees were cut on The Center Lot, alongside other plant starts and seeds, to emerge into a pollinator pasture over the summer. The Center commissioned artist Mary Early to create a site-specific installation in its Project Room gallery. Working with beeswax, Early has used simple, repeating forms and shapes to create a geometric installation that hangs from the ceiling. Visitors are invited to move through the space, taking in the fragrance of beeswax as they experience the installation. Boise-based artist Kirsten Furlong’s Imagined Pollinators is a two-dimensional wall installation of hand-drawn, hand-cut, artist-invented moths and butterflies. The project represents human imagination and empathy as powerful tools in protecting species that are vitally important to us. The exhibition features a selection of renowned photographer Emmet Gowin’s Mariposas nocturnas, grids of photographs of moths Gowin has made during visits to Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and elsewhere. Depicting hundreds, if not thousands, of species, Gowin’s project illuminates the incredible diversity among pollinators and gives viewers the opportunity to see pollinators who do their work primarily at night, largely hidden from human view. jasna guy has created several bodies of work about bees, including large-scale prints on silk tissue of tens of thousands of bees and honey-comb images. Recently, she’s begun making photographic prints of a wide variety of pollinator plants, sampling their pollen as part of her process and presenting the range of hues in swatches of color.