ArtHaus in Decorah and Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners are inviting artists of all ages to contribute their work to an upcoming community exhibit entitled “Pollinate,” set to open at ArtHaus on June 3 and run through July 21. Any and all forms of visual art, except free-standing sculpture, will be considered; all works must be able to be mounted or tacked to a wall. Up to three works per person will be accepted and submission is free. Items may be for offered for sale, available for purchase through ArtHaus, with a portion of any sale going to support the ArtHaus' need-based scholarship fund. The exhibition is sponsored by Seed Savers Exchange and the Oneota Community Food Co-op.
Artists are encouraged to think broadly about how they would like to express themselves in regards to “Pollinate” theme. In the literal realm, there is the common, and essential “birds and the bees association.” Beetles, bees, butterflies, bats, birds, flies, wasps, wind, water and even people can all be agents of the continuation of life on our planet by bringing the life force of one being to that of another, so that the seed of a new one can grow. Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination. Another way to say this is that one out of every three bites of food we eat is there because of the work of pollinators.
There are other layers of meaning to consider as well, through images, patterns and subject matter. How do two distinct entities merge to create something new? What is the process for this? How do we inspire each other to create new things, or help ecosystems and communities to thrive? What are the essential pieces of this process? How are we doing with this nowadays? What might be missing?
"The idea of a community exhibit is that anyone, of any skill level and any age, can share creative works that fit the theme," says ArtHaus Co-director, Jenni Petersen-Brant. "With this community exhibit, we're excited to collaborate with the Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners and offer this opportunity that will highlight the world of pollinating creatures and their ecosystems. It's good to be reminded that our food systems rely on them, the importance of which we sometimes take for granted."
Works should be delivered to ArtHaus from May 20 through 27, on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 10am and 2pm or by appointment. An opening reception will be held June 3, from 6-8pm. Artworks will be on display through July 21 and must remain on display for the entirety of the exhibition. Submission details and entry forms are available online. For additional information, contact Jenni or Eric Petersen-Brant at 563-382-5440.
NE Iowa Pollinator Partners (NEIPP) is a Decorah-based, volunteer organization dedicated to educating our community on the importance of pollinators, celebrating their abundance and contributions and ensuring stewardship of safe environments where all life can thrive. For more information, visit NEIPP on Facebook.
Established in 2008, ArtHaus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in downtown Decorah, Iowa that provides high-quality, hands-on experiences and year-round, accessible public arts events in the visual, performing, and literary arts. All contributions and donations to ArtHaus are tax deductible; donations can be made online.
Image courtesy of Flickr creative commons