Taking Flight

wax lobe

It’s official! Hive can start moving forward with an exhibition date of February 2016!

You’re probably wondering “what is Hive and what does this really mean for Gale’s art? ” Background: For the last several years I’ve been wanting to do something substantial related to bees. Yes, those little flying pollinators who make most of our food possible here on earth. In Oregon, we’ve had several “mishaps” with mass bee poisoning/death due to improper use of chemicals. Hundreds (and thousands) of native species and honey bees have been killed. Why these chemicals are still available on the market really makes me wonder. That’s something I won’t dive into right now. During my most recent installation Camas, I went out and purchased wax from a local source, Queen Bee Apiaries. While at the main facility, I received a tour from Karen, a couple of lobes of natural wax to take home (the above photo), and purchased a 22# behemoth block! Part of the wax was melted and combined with a resin to make encaustic wax. I used it to coat the sculptures for strength. Plus it smells so good!! Little did I know how enticing the smell was to bees in our area. I was visited daily, when wax was in use, by the little flying friends. They would come and move around me, looking for the source.  Ideas started flowing through my brain and I decided a piece needed to be created, pending a location. The location has now been granted so the project can take flight!

In order to secure the location, I placed my portfolio into the hands of a blind jury. That particular jury knows my work all too well, having granted approval for all 3 of my previous installations. So, it wasn’t super blind since they all recognized my work right away. Yes, I really do need to move outside the small pond of Corvallis and start splashing in a bigger lake! Anyway, my plan is to activate both spaces of the Corrine Woodman Gallery at The Arts Center of Corvallis. The front gallery will receive the “hive” treatment. Think bees and honey comb that people walk under. The back gallery will be for sculptures of native plants and garden flowers attached to the walls with bees. There will also be some of those little pollinators “moving” between the two spaces, helping viewers to visit both spaces and the main gallery between them. How large the individual bee sculptures will dictate the size of everything else. A normal worker bee length is 9-18mm (.4-.6 inches). My bee sculptures will measure between 38-50 cm (15-20 inches), depending on upcoming experiments. The project will continue the current use of wire, paper, wax and color.

Now, if I can just get the fingers on my right hand to shape up, stop swelling, and get better!


Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

11 thoughts on “Taking Flight

    1. I was working there on one of the hive removals… actually several hive removals! 10 years there and counting. 🙂

    1. Yes, I do need an apprentice! I think I’m going to do some bee prints (and not of smushed bees), to help fund this project. I’m taking a leaf from your page of project funding. 🙂

      1. No internship. Since I work in my crazy house with a dog who often decides people are evil and he doesn’t like them, it’s not a good mix. Maybe one day when I make enough moolah to support a studio outside the home. 🙂

    1. No worries, I’ll certainly keep everyone posted. Wish I could send smell-o-blogs! Beeswax is one of my favorite scents!

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