UCA Downtown held a reception for its newest art exhibit installation titled “Spirit of the Hive” by Kristen Spickard, a marketing coordinator at UCA.
The installation features 4,000 tiny, detailed individual bees attached to a blank white wall with straight pins. The bees are two-dimensional 35mm film prints.
The prints were developed as black and white photos, which Spickard then cut out and hand-painted with yellow.
Every film print was a photo of the same bee model, which Spickard positioned differently and then photographed.
“It’s important because we’re losing bees,” Spickard said. “Seven species of bees went on [the]endangered species list this year. They’re severely important to our food source and our lives.”
The seven bees that were added to the endangered species list were different species of yellow-faced bees native to Hawaii, according to npr.org.
The name “Spirit of the Hive” refers to the community spirit that controls the overall behavior of the beehive.
Before this exhibit, Spickard was doing other work involving farming and gardening, so she said it was a natural transition to working with bees.
The first time Spickard created this exhibit, it include approximately 10,000 bees, but with UCA Downtown’s limited display space, that large of a number wasn’t possible.
The physical process of installing every bee picture took Spickard eleven hours.
According to Spickard’s artist statement, “the bees are displayed on pins, making them reminiscent of an entomological collection. Just as the queen bee in a hive is responsible for laying all of the eggs, all of the bees in this installation were created from photographs of the queen bee.”
“This is incredibly calming to me,” freshman Joseph Schneider said of the installation. Spickard completed a bachelor’s of fine arts degree at UCA in 2009 and a master’s of fine arts from Ohio State University in 2012.
For more events and info, visit uca.edu/downtown.
The installation is visible Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
photo by Lauren Swaim