Pollination Panel Discussion

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The panel aims to discuss the intersection of Art and the Agricultural crafts of Bread Making and Apiary Practice (past and present). Wind and pollinators act as transformation agents in the life cycle that is crucial to regeneration. What place do eco concerns, such as those currently surrounding pollinators, have in cultural representation? The panelists will be taking a closer look at objects in the Beall-Dawson Collection which depict visual narratives of wheat and apiary practice (Liz Lay); the context of eco art within current contemporary art projects (Laura Roulet); the Pollinator Plight, presently a great part of our Zeitgeist (Bonnie Raindrop); and the natural materials and human collaboration with insects and insect products & detritus (Elsabé Dixon). Rob Jenson will offer a first hand account of the hive as a living organism through a display of an Observation Hive.
Panelists include: Laura Roulet (Deep Flash on Art and Transformation curator); Liz Lay (Curator and Collection Manager of Beall-Dawson); Elsabé Dixon (artist); Bonnie Raindrop (Backyard Bee Keeper and pollinator activist); Rob Jenson (Observation Hive from MCBA).


About the Panelists:
Laura Roulet: Independent curator Laura Roulet considered planetary transformation through climate change and the role of the eco-artist for Deep Flash. She invited Elsabé Dixon, whose project Mise en Place/ Everything in its Place, incorporates wheat, raising live bees, harvesting honey, kneading and baking bread – all transformative processes that demonstrate the life cycle of plants, insects, and the humans that depend on them. Using sculpture, performance, workshops, a panel talk with local beekeepers, the Beall-Dawson House Museum collection, and Great Harvest Bread she makes the interconnections in an ecological system transparent and encourages active participation.


Elsabé Dixon: Through live insect installation fused with constructed recycled and repurposed materials, Elsabe Dixon explores alternative strategies of object making while using both analog systems and the empirical in an organic collaboration. Dixon creates works that explore the mediating effect organic environments have on our sensory perception of space and objects. Her work involves the audience through invitation of communal work and through the construction of interactive live environments through which the audience can move. Dixon allows chance operations, mimetic systems and audience participation to reveal the life cycle of a living organism within the imagined structures of a built environment.


Bonnie Raindrop: Bonnie Raindrop is a grassroots coordinator for Smart on Pesticides Campaign coalition and offers community building, research opportunities for the public and academics. She is beekeeping expert, lobbyist for pollinators and actively involved in public speaking. She received the Maryland League of Conservation Voter’s 2016 John V. Kabler Award for Environmental Leadership for Central Maryland Beekeepers Association’s role in passage of first-in-nation Pollinator Protection Act.


Liz Lay: Elizabeth first began working for the Historical Society as curator for “A Walk Down the Aisle,” wedding gown exhibition at the Kentlands Mansion in February 2015. She received her MA in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian-GMU, with a concentration in American Textiles, and minor in Twentieth Century American Furniture. Lay has a long history in textiles which includes a license agreement with the Victoria and Albert Museum for textile design and internships with Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, the U.S Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and the Fashion Museum in Bath, UK. Elizabeth combines her curatorial experience with 10 years in arts management which included her time as the Executive Director for the City of Gaithersburg Council for the Arts.


Rob Jenson: Rob Jenson is a second-year beekeeper with three hives in his backyard in Bethesda. Rob has worked for many years as a computer systems administrator and also as an archivist. He was the second and the fourth archivist of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Montgomery County Archives, and he currently volunteers with both on archives and computer projects. Rob is an active member of the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association (MCBA) and the DC Beekeepers Alliance (DCBA), where he gives beekeeping demonstrations and talks to the public about honeybees and beekeeping. He volunteers with the Garden Guild of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington DC to tend their beehives. He also works with the beehives at the Brookside Nature Center as part of the open mentoring program for beekeepers.


Meet us at Beall-Dawson House (walking distance from VisArts).

To attend, please RSVP below

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