[act-ma] 2/22 & 2/27: Beehive Collective residency at MassArt

Susie Husted susie_husted at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 12 08:39:04 PST 2012

See: http://massartonline.org/arted/2012/01/27/the-bees-are-coming/

Five members of the Beehive, a design cooperative based in Machias, Maine, will be in residence in 
the Art Education Department from February 21-28.  They will be visiting classes and studios, installing an exhibition in the Arnheim Gallery, 
and giving two public presentations.

The Beehive’s mission is to create collaborative, anti-copyright 
images that can be used as alternative educational and organizing tools. Best known for their posters, the bees collaborate to create visual 
narratives that break down and deconstruct complex and overwhelming 
political/social issues.

Schedule of Beehive Events at MassArt:
February 27 – March 14      Arnheim exhibition
Monday, Feb. 27, 7:00 – 8:30pm          opening

Wednesday, February 22, 5:15-7:00 pm, Kennedy 406
Presentation on running a collaborative of artists and activists

Monday, February 27, 5:00-7:00 pm, Tower Auditorium
Presentation on the True Cost of Coal Banner

The Beehive Collective releases their innovative graphic, 
“The True Cost of Coal:” a visual exploration of Mountaintop Removal 
coal mining and Resistance
Two years in the making, “The True Cost of Coal” is an elaborate 
narrative illustration that explores the complex story of mountaintop 
removal coal mining and the broader impacts of coal in Appalachia and 
beyond. The image is the culmination of an intensive and collaborative 
research process, as the Beehive methodology centers on first hand 
story-sharing. To create the poster, the Beehive interviewed hundreds of community members throughout the Appalachia region. “We feel it’s 
extremely important to gather our information from as close to the 
source as possible,” a Beehive illustrator says.

The Bees craft visual metaphors and weave them together in a 
patchwork “quilt” of personal stories. In their interactive 
picture-lectures, the Bees lead audiences through an engaging, 
larger-than-life banner version of the graphic, interweaving anecdotes, 
statistics, and history. The experience prompts discussion and 
understanding of contemporary struggles about energy and coal, while 
honoring the deep legacy of the Appalachian experience. Upon seeing the 
graphic, Tanya Turner of Pineville, KY said, “This image is changing 
Appalachia. Appalachians are taking back Appalachia and this image is a 
tool for that change.”
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