Monday, May 28, 2012

Sneak Peek! Jim Toia

Bees Echo the Moon-Mixed w/ Video Installation
We are honored to have artist Jim Toia as one of our finalists.Jim drove his work up from New Jersey last Friday and after finishing his temporary install of " Bees Echo the Moon",a mixed media sculpture with video installation,he  took a trip to Flanders Nature Center to visit Natalie VonVleck's Studio and Nature preserve.Hopefully Jim can be at the opening  but he does have a tight schedule! Jim will be traveling to the Florida Keys in the next week or so,  for a residency where he is working on his "Petri Island Project" with about 2000 school children!!

According to the project's invitation;
Courtesy Jim Toia's Website
"Every participant will be provided with an empty plastic petri dish and asked to “fill” the dish by painting, sculpting, or whatever process of treatment that suits you, to create “what an island means to you.” It can be anything from a collection of items, to a picture or a finger painting, to an elaborate work of art. The result can be metaphoric, literal, simple or complex. The goal is to include every school child, and any citizen who is interested in contributing, so we have a comprehensive representation of viewpoints from every age group throughout the Florida Keys."
Jim Toia is also the Director of Lafayette College's Community Based Teaching Program."where he leads high school students through an advanced creative arts curriculum, preparing them for their future artistic pursuits. (WE LOVE THAT!)

Mushroom Spore Drawing- Jim Toia

Though the topic of the Plight of the Pollinators call is obviously Pollinator decline, the essence of "Field Projects" and the teaching at Blue Horse Arts is the intersection of art and Nature, in whatever way that may manifest.Jim is an artist whose work and teaching intersect and thereby create a bridge between artistic and scientific research. Based of that, I just have to give you glimpse into another facet of Jim's work.
This incredible Mushroom Spore Drawing, pictured on the left!
On Jim's website he provides insight into his process of working with this very difficult natural medium.When you visit his site, you'll find many more mysteriously beautiful works comprised of the spore of fungus.

Another series of work that results in exquisite aesthetic renderings,is a  body of work curently in process, where Jim utilizes the dried forms of jellyfish, enhanced with gouache.

Jellyfish and gouache on paper- Jim Toia

Jim Toia's Statement

"I am an artist that uses nature as my primary medium and have had the honor of exhibiting my work around the world. I make my home in the hills of northwestern New Jersey and am represented by the Kim FosterGallery in NYC, and the Haines Gallery in San Francisco, CA. I received my BA from Bard College and my MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. My work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, South and Central America and the Far East....... My art and my profession have led to numerous public and community projects."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

APPLAUSE!! and a Sneak Peak

Dianne Parmalee is a woman who really knows how to drive a team.She is pictured here with a rescue draft team plowing the fields at Flanders for planting Sunflowers.Gotta feed our Pollinators!!!!
Applause, Applause,Applause goes to the posse of painters who showed up at the "Field Projects" door step armed with rollers,drop cloths, song, and CHOCOLATE!!They blasted through the hallways like a blizzard leaving behind fresh, snowy walls.THANK YOU!!!!! Dianne Parmalee,the Masterful Mike Amodeo, Brendan Jayne, and Dr.Dan. 
THANK YOU!!!Also to the the God of Getting Things Done! The Extraordinary Clive Saunders!!!!!!

Image Still of "Bee Aware" Interactive Design-Sue Berg
One of the aspects of this project that I have benefited greatly from is getting to meet new and very cool, friends and artists in my own backyard, such as the  crazy crew above and one of our finalists Sue Berg. I met Sue the other day for the first time when she brought in her Interactive project "Bee Aware."
She had me playing with her IPad in no time and I was truly entertained!(She is completely unaware of what an amazing feat that is to those who really know me:)).
Image Still of "Bee Aware" Interactive Design-Sue Berg

Sue is currently a Professor of Art at Northwestern Community College along with being a multi-media artist and partner in She is also the priestess of technology and advisory board member for the great arts organization " Artwell Inc."  

Sue Berg's Statement

I believe in art as social commentary. Although I never spoon feed the viewer with content, it is there none the less. I work within a field of possibilities that require the viewer to think.

I believe in the creative power of technology. New Media requires a breaking down of preconceived notions. Technology offers the artist a vast range of expressive power. It takes all media that has come before it and puts them all in one place. New media is sculptural, painterly, photographic; it is the written word and sound. Technology as form requires science, math and design. It is a microcosm of our present as well as a modifier of our future. We examine our transforming society through the very system that is transforming it. We use technology to reinforce our content.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The Finalists for the "Plight of the Pollinators" exhibition  held in the "Field Projects" Exhibition Space at
Blue Horse Arts and Jay Foster Music Studios
!(Drum Roll Please)!

High School Students

Yeojin Kwon-  DE
Sarah Nehring TX

Emma McGovern, Maya Tors, Kathy Lee, Hannah Hudson, Emma Beaulieu, SooJin Chi, Eunice Oh, Lauren Benedetto, Amber Shelton, Alexis Zimmerman, Sarah Corsico, Myrna Cox, Joon Choi


Professionals and Adults

Kathleen Austin MA
Maryanne Benns MA
Aaron Birk PA
  C.Bonicelli NY
Isabelle Day CT
Bonnie DeWitt  CT
Amy Evans NJ
Barbara Getsinger CT
Freya Goetz RI 
Lucille Scurti NJ
Kelly Shannon AL
Jeanne Stevens-Sollman PA 
Margi Weir MI
Tracey Young TN

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pollinator Update and Sneak Peek!

Jay Foster
Hello out there to those who have been anxiously awaiting to hear about the “Plight of the Pollinators” results!!!!
The jury results are in and those who will be invited to show at the “Field Projects” exhibition space should be contacted by the end of this extremely busy day!!
We who have been involved with this show have to say that the support and creative response to this has been overwhelming!!! The diversity and quality of the artwork submitted has been excellent, making for some VERY difficult choices for finalists. We are so pleased to be able to offer the online show to honor everyone who has participated in this project! This show will be “open” online the same day of the finalist exhibition. Once again Thank You! to all the artists who submitted their works to assist in bringing attention to our Pollinators through their creative expressions!

For next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some  diverse “Sneak Peeks” of those artists who entered, regardless of whether or not they made it to the final round.

Sneak Peek! 

New York artist, M.Genevieve Hitchings has submitted her illustrated web project "Urban Pollinators." Her elegantly illustrated interactive web piece takes the viewer through a hand drawn landscape populated with watercolored flora and fauna. Her piece is not only a visual delight but a virtual educational experience.Ms. Hitchings is also the web designer for the "Great Pollinators Project" launched by the Center of Biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History.

The  screen shot image in no way belies the beauty of the the website click here to enjoy:)

Urban Pollinators Illustrated Web Project-M.Genevieve Hitchings-Screen Shot

Add caption

 M.Genevieve Hitchings Statement

"Urban Pollinators ( is an illustrated web project which examines the role city parks play in providing refuge for pollinators in urban environments. Through a series of drawings and animations, the interactive site allows users to visually explore the intricate bond between plant and insect. The drawings aim to alert users to recent declines in wild insect populations due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

My intention was to use interactive design and illustration to showcase how city green spaces serve an important role in creating and maintaining urban ecosystems. Illustration combined with multimedia has the unique ability to call attention to issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. My goal is to help people living in New York City understand that they are surrounded by a natural world that depends on community support.

Focusing on Riverside Park in New York City, the Urban Pollinators project encourages users to browse through illustrations of both plants and insects, highlighting the important role parks play in making city living possible. The power of interactive design is that it creates a forum for transferring ideas. My hope is to motivate people to take an interest in the seemingly invisible natural world that surrounds us. Minor adjustments in how we treat our urban environment can dramatically impact the ability of fragile insect populations to survive."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sneak Peek Aaron Birk

Cover Art for the Pollinator's Corridor- Aaron Birk

Sample page- The Pollinator's Corridor

“A good idea is timeless”, Dianne Parmalee from Flanders Nature Center, recently said to me. She should know since she has lots of them!
 A good idea and a good story are the critical ingredients in artist Aaron Birk’s graphic novel. Eight years in the making, through the labor intensive processes of drawing and collage is what it took to bring his ecological adventure story to fruition.
 Aaron Birk- Photo Randa Jarra

 Sculpture Installation by Aaron Birk

 Detail Image of Sculpture by Aaron Birk

 “The Pollinators Corridor” combines the popular genre of the graphic novel with a compelling narrative that sheds light on significant environmental issues. What is key in Aaron’s work is that through the images and text this artist illustrates how the average person can be a steward of change. It provides scenarios of hope gleaned from Aaron’s own personal involvement with restoration ecology.
Aaron Birk graduated as a theater major from Oberlin College in 2003, but began his own self training in horticultural science soon afterward. It was during his work directing an ecological restoration project in the Bronx where the seeds of his novel were planted.

Detail Image of Sculpture by Aaron Birk

 Sample Page by Aaron Birk

 Aaron has been awarded an Independent Artist grant for this work and has given lecture presentations throughout the east coast discussing his story and the concept of ecological restoration. The Pollinator’s Corridor was included in the Bronx Museum of Art in 2009. We are so excited that Aaron has participated in this call. This work exemplifies the fusion between art and science, and the power of image to communicate important ideas. Aaron‘s life work, as a creative and active participant in change, is an inspiration to other artists who try and make a difference on our planet. 

For more information on Aaron Birk or how to obtain a copy of The Pollinators Corridor  by visit his website
Please consider supporting this artist’s efforts by visiting this link.

 Sample Page by Aaron Birk

Some great Articles on Birk’s work!

The Green Futures of Aaron Birk by Carolyn Huckaby 

For more info on the field of Restoration Ecology

Visit the Society for Ecological Restoration
Conservation Magazine’s-Nectar Trailsof Migratory Pollinators; Restoring Corridors on Private Lands 


Jay Foster
The works submitted have gone through the first round and are now beginning the second round.It's really going to be a tough call!!! So many really excellent entries, submitted by both professional artists or students, and those who are inspired to "Bee" a part of creative action and education!! 

I wish we could put them all in! All of the works will be available for viewing online in conjunction with the brick and mortar gallery show. It is our hope that we can support these artists who participated by spreading the word on the work they do! Once again,Thank You! to all who are making this event a success!!!!  Our Artists, Our Sponsors,and our Friends and Families!!
I'll be posting a variety of work in the coming weeks, submitted to Plight of the Pollinators while we anxiously await the jury panels decisions on which works will be exhibited at our "Field Projects" exhibition space. 
Now put the date on your calendar for a Sweet Celebration!!

 JUNE, 2nd, 2012
 The Opening Starts at 7PM-9PM (or maybe later:))
Awards Presentation Announced During the Show
 Special Guest
(Can't tell you. He doesn't know yet!)
The Beehive Design Collective
Live Music!!!! From Three Great Local Bands 
Pollen( yep for real!)
The Billy Cactus Band 
The Electric Bakery
( Jay will be sitting in on these and hopefully some of our other talented friends and guests)
 Great Food and Libations!
250 Porter Street
Watertown, Connecticut, 06795

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thank You!

Thank You Pollinator Participants!!! 
 The call closed last night with some really nice works submitted from around the country.The work will now be passed to the jury panel.The finalists who are selected for exhibition at our "Field Projects" space will be notified by May 14th.The online show will open the with the physical show on
 June 2nd, 2012.
The opening is June 2nd, 7PM-9PM.The location is 250 Porter Street,Watertown, Connecticut.And it's going to be Great!!!Thank you once again to all who supported this event. 
And Our Pollinators Thank You!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Arrivals!

Some new baby ducks(as opposed to old baby ducks),for your viewing pleasure while we wait until midnight:)
Baby Ducks hit the water at dusk at Hemingway Pond.

Our new family of Mallards

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Plight Of The Pollinators Deadline Tomorrow!!!

Jay Foster
Click HERE for Prospectus and Application Link!
 !!!!Thank You To All Who Are Supporting Our Pollinators!!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



We are so excited!!We just got news that the Beehive Design Collective will be gracing some of our walls with their intricately illustrated murals at our Plight of the Pollinators show!!YAY!!We are so honored to have them!
 The Beehive Design Collective
The Bees are a truly inspirational organization of volunteer artists,and environmental educators/activists that cross pollinate around the country.They bring their extensively researched and labor intensive graphics to parts all over, from museum and university venues to small schools and villages, in a grass roots effort to educate people on critical environmental  issues and social justice.
 From their website site.
"The Bees craft visual metaphors and weave them together in a patchwork “quilt.” In the interactive picture-lectures, they lead audiences through a larger-than-life banner version of the graphic, interweaving anecdotes, statistics, and histories gathered from Mexico to Colombia.  The experience prompts discussion and understanding of contemporary struggles in this era of tremendous change. Los Angeles high school student Megan Jackson remarks, "I still remember your presentation quite vividly.  You made the subject much easier to understand for all of us visual learners. You do a remarkable job at keeping the attention of the audience while teaching about a potentially hard to understand subject." 

 The Beehive Design Collective
“Dismantling Monoculture” is only a sample of the Beehive’s repertoire of graphics campaigns. The Beehive hums with activity, tackling issues as diverse as biotechnology, corporate globalization, food and agriculture, and colonialism. The group’s mission is to “cross-pollinate the grassroots” by creating images that educate the public and deconstruct complex geopolitical issues.  Their body of work is distributed as “anti-copyright;” individuals and organizations are encouraged to reproduce the graphics for non-profit use as a means of circulating information and awareness.

The Beehive Collective is currently booking a nation-wide tour to raise funds for the printing and distribution of the finale graphic in the trilogy, “Mesoamerica Resisté!,”

The Mural "Dismantling Monoculture" was Mural 7 years in the making!!!!!

I have taken the liberty of parsing of their website,(definitely worth an extended visit!), to give you an idea of what an incredibly generous and hard working  crew of artists,researchers,and educators they are.Come out and Support them at the show on June 2nd.Further info on a presentation time will be announced.

 The Beehive's Mission

To cross-pollinate the grassroots, by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images that can be used as educational and organizing tools.
In the process of this effort we seek to take the “who made that!?” and “how much does it cost!?” out of our creative endeavors, by anonymously functioning as word-to-image translators of the information we convey. We build, and disseminate these visual tools with the hope that they will self-replicate, and take on life of their own.

 The True Cost Of Coal - The Beehive Design Collective
 The Beehive Design Collective
 The Beehive Design Collective
Check out their Blog on the "True Cost of Coal"

 The Beehive Design Collective
You Tube has a number of interesting and informative videos on the Bee's. Below is the a video from their KickStarter Campaign which gives a nice overview of what they do. 

*All Graphics and Imagery courtesy of the Beehive Design Collective*