June 18-24 I will be celebrating National Pollinator Week through the release of my newest bronze vessel, Nature’s Bounty – a very small bronze vessel of white clover with a single pollinating honeybee. The white clover plant is a vital and nourishing source of nectar and pollen for the honeybee. My 2011 release of Celestial Joy celebrates the black-chinned hummingbird (another important pollinator) amidst a brilliantly radiant cluster of wild, orange alpine lilies. As many of you know, I was raised on a small farm in rural Lancaster County, PA. I grew up with many hives of honeybees consistently pollinating the diverse and abundant crops, including a vibrant orchard on our farm. My paternal grandfather was the beekeeper in those days while my brother continues the tradition today.
While my work has always been richly inspired by the wisdom and beauty of nature, in recent years Ihas become an ever growing advocate for various conservation efforts –particularly regarding pollinators. My concern over the alarmingly diminishing population of the honeybee was the stirring motivation for this newest release Nature’s Bounty. I hope the piece, while bringing a slice of artistic beauty into our world, equally raises awareness of the currently desperate state of the honey bee – and a response that will insure its survival. Nature’s Bounty will be offered in a more unusual unlimited edition with hopes it will empower the spread of awareness regarding pollination conservation to infinite levels; while offering a very affordable work of museum quality art to collectors around the globe. It features a single tiny honeybee – easy to miss if you do not know it is there while mirroring how very easy it is for us to “miss” giving attention to the honeybee and it’s survival when seeing one in nature.
Nearly one-third of the food we eat today in North America is pollinated by the honey-bee. Without the honeybee, most of the vegetables and fruits we take for granted will simply disappear or depend upon human pollination. Since 2006, the honeybee population has been declining at an alarming rate with still unknown causes of the devastating and stressful Colony Collapse Disorder. More than yet another beautiful bronze vessel, Nature’s Bounty is an appeal to the public, to plant bee and insect friendly gardens and reduce the use of toxic pesticides to help insure the balance and sustainability of our ecosystem. As a commitment to the conservation efforts in regard to the honeybee, Alleman Studios will designate a portion of the profits from its sales of Nature’s Bounty to benefit various non-profit organizations fighting to bring awareness, research, and sustainable solutions to our world regarding the honeybee and other valuable pollinators. Other pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds also appear in my body of work. To learn more about Nature’s Bounty, Celestial Joy and the honeybee visit the website section presenting each of these pieces – associated writing will follow below the images of the artwork.
You may also learn more about pollination conservation by visiting the San Francisco based Pollinator Partnership website at http://pollinator.org/index.html. The Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.