Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beekeeper comments on bee exhibit at Community Arts Center

Melissa Hronkin's representation of the Queen Bee atop several hives is part of the exhibit, "Icarus Rising: Lessons from the Bees," on display at the Community Arts Center in Hancock.

By Gustavo Bourdieu *

HANCOCK -- For the past forty years I've been raising bees -- either as a hobby or as a business. These marvelous insects are truly enviable for their organization and work ethic. I have participated in many classes and workshops demonstrating the advantages of raising bees and the benefits they provide for humanity. Not only do bees produce honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and wax; but their work of pollination -- visiting millions of flowers and plants to enable nature to do its work of bearing fruit -- is incalculable.

Pictured here with some of his bees, Gustavo Bourdieu, author of this article and photographer for Keweenaw Now, has been a beekeeper for many years. (Photo by Gustavo Bourdieu)

Last Thursday the editor of Keweenaw Now (my wife) asked me to take photos at "Icarus Rising," an art exhibit on bees at the Community Arts Center in Hancock. Never in my life of many years had I seen such dedication toward these insects. I was impressed by the attractive presentation of the art works, but also by the variety of information -- a little of everything.

Artist, teacher and beekeeper Melissa Hronkin holds up a "queen cage" as she speaks about her art and bees during the reception held for her on Thursday, July 10, in the Community Arts Center in Hancock. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Mead (wine made from honey) and different varieties of honey snacks were served as refreshments, and visitors were even offered small gifts of "queen cages."

Visitors taste a variety of snacks prepared with honey during the July 10 reception for Melissa Hronkin and her exhibit, "Icarus Rising: Lessons from the Bees," at the Community Arts Center in Hancock. The exhibit continues through July 31. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

I wish to congratulate Melissa Hronkin for her excellent work and her compilation of bee-related information presented at the exhibit. Since I'm not an art critic, I can't comment on the art; but for me this was a great display of dedication that attracted many art lovers, friends and students, who filled the gallery with their comments of praise and admiration.

In this video clip, Melissa Hronkin comments on her art during the reception for her exhibit, "Icarus Rising: Lessons from the Bees," July 10 at the Community Arts Center in Hancock. (Video clip © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Many thanks, Melissa, for such a beautiful exhibit. Keep up the good work!

* Translated from the original Spanish by Michele Bourdieu.

Editor's Notes: "Icarus Rising: Lessons from the Bees," encaustic and beeswax collage and assemblages by Melissa Hronkin, is on exhibit at the Community Arts Center in Hancock through July 31. Don't miss it! Hronkin, who teaches art at Ontonagon High School, will offer a workshop -- "An Introduction to Experimental Encaustics and Beeswax collage" -- from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, at the Community Arts Center. For details see our previous article on the exhibit and the workshop, posted July 8. Also, visit Melissa Hronkin's blog to read more about her bees and her art.