Tuesday, September 30, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 29
Signup

Weekly Poll
Should Buellton put an electronic billboard along Highway 101?

No: It would be tacky and unattractive.
Aren't there laws against that?
Yes: Buellton needs to bring in more tourists.
I don't live there; I don't care.

Vote! | Poll Results

RSS Feeds

Latest News RSS
Current Issue RSS

Special Features
Delicious
Search or post Santa Barbara County food and wine establishments

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on July 30th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 21 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 21

Y/BEES? features a collaborative assemblage that focuses on honeybees

BY JOE PAYNE


FOUND BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Y/BEES? includes many uses of found objects that elicit thoughts or imagery of hymenoptera.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA VOSS

All day, every day, honeybees are buzzing all around us, doing what they do best: the thankless job of pollinating most plants we enjoy by sight or taste as well as ones we’re not aware of. An exhibition of mixed media art that focuses on the honeybee, Y/BEES? has been extended for another month at the Santa Maria Public Library’s Shepard Hall.

Created by mixed media artists Patty Smith and Juan Manuel Perez Salazar, the exhibit explores many aspects of the honeybee, including its culture, output (honey), and behavior, and the effect human civilization has had on the tiny insect.

“I think each piece in there definitely speaks to honeybees and to the crisis they are in right now with colony collapse,” Smith said. “Some of them speak to our lack of knowledge and fear of bees.”

Smith and Perez Salazar both work in mixed media, meaning they combine aspects such as painting, assemblage, sculpture, and other visual forms. Many of the pieces in Y/BEES? include found objects.


SPECIES COLLIDE
Much of the work in Y/BEES? by Juan Manuel Perez Salazar and Patty Smith takes a look at honeybees and how they are often buffeted by human artifice.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA VOSS

“The big thing Juan has come on board with me for is a couple of trips to the desert,” Smith said. “We pulled a couple of cool things out of the desert, like nettle or discarded antiquities; it’s a pretty broad spectrum.”

Both Smith and Manuel Perez grew interested in bees after becoming amateur beekeepers. Smith took beekeeping community classes at Allan Hancock College, and Perez Salazar has been using bees to help revive family land in Mexico.

“So, in this process, we are informing our work with a lot of the politics and a lot of the work; some of it in reference to medicine, some of it is archaeological findings, some are cultural events that took place,” Perez Salazar said. “You realize, when you start to find this little creature is everywhere, we human beings have been cultivating this little creature as well.”

There are also some paintings from a series on flowers Perez Salazar did. These paintings served as part of the initial inspiration for the exhibit.

“For me, it’s like coming around,” he said. “I was painting flowers, but we have no flowers if not for bees.”


HOPE FOR THE HIVE
´╗┐Smith and Salazar are both amateur beekeepers trying to raise awareness about colony collapse with Y/BEES?, which they hope to continue after its current showing.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA VOSS

Both Perez Salazar and Smith are members of a local beekeepers club and hope to promote not just awareness of the plight of honeybee populations, but also inspire people to mobilize and start their own hives.

They hope to continue their show after it closes at the library, moving it to different, possibly international, locations, with more artists pitching in.


NEW AND OLD FORMS
The show includes mixed media and paintings by Perez Salazar.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA VOSS

Buzz on by

The Santa Maria Public Library presents the exhibit Y/BEES? by Patty Smith and Juan Manuel Perez Salazar in the Shepard Hall through August at the library, 421 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria. More info: 925-0994, Ext. 832, saravoss@cityofsantamaria.org, or cityofsantamaria.org.

 

 

Arts Editor Joe Payne has been stung, but holds no grudges. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.