CULTURE & ARTS
08/27/2015 08:59 am ET

Artists Want To Save Pollinators, Through Pollination

Pollination is both the problem and the solution.
Erik Johansen

Did you know that the world is in the midst of a severe pollinator decline? If not, Inspiration Pollination wants to change that. They hope to remind you to think more about it every day, and how you can make a difference. 

Inspiration Pollination, an artistic movement launched by Melanie Oliva this month, takes pollination as both the problem and the cure.

<span><span>"Pollinator Propaganda: Series 1," stencil/spray paint &amp; wood block prints</span></span>
Melanie Oliva
"Pollinator Propaganda: Series 1," stencil/spray paint & wood block prints

Pollination, as a process, means influence, not visibility. We barely notice the bees and hummingbirds shuttling pollen from blossom to blossom as they bob about the landscape. But without them, there would no landscape, let alone blossoms. 

The artistic process is, in many ways, quite similar; artists rarely make front-page news, and art funding is often the first to go when budget cuts are on the table. But artists seed the ideas and innovations that keep society evolving.

"Wallflower," crayons
Herb Williams
"Wallflower," crayons

"Our ideas will pollinate the online world," says one line in Inspiration Pollination's mission statement. Oliva elaborated in an email to The Huffington Post: "In a way, there is a natural symbiosis between pollinators and artists in the project."

Not only does Oliva hope to see the environmental message spread far and wide, but the secondary message of the value of art. "I've ... noticed a declining appreciation for fine art and the time it takes to create," she said.

"Bloom Where You're Planted," crayons
Herb Williams
"Bloom Where You're Planted," crayons

Through Inspiration Pollination, she hopes to "gain exposure for artists and creators who are struggling to make it."

With the project launched, thanks to contributions from Oliva and other artists such as Oliver Sanchez and Herb Williams, she's planning to establish Inspiration Pollination as a nonprofit fostering environmental art.

Melanie Oliva

So what next? Awareness, Oliva says, is only the first step. It's up to us, the audience, to put this into action. "Buying organic, using less sprays and chemicals in your yard and proactively cultivating plants that pollinators need are all things that require effort and commitment," she explained.

A tall order, but as with pollination, only many working together can make a change.

  • "Bittersweet Victory," acrylic, wood
    Melanie Nelson Stephens
    "Bittersweet Victory," acrylic, wood
  • "Urban Garden," encaustic wax on wood and found metal objects
    Jessie Smith-Larson
    "Urban Garden," encaustic wax on wood and found metal objects
  • "Butterfly," construction paper, spoon, sequins, pipe cleaner, googly eyes
    Anabelle Rademacher, age 4 1/2
    "Butterfly," construction paper, spoon, sequins, pipe cleaner, googly eyes
  • "Bang," paint, Sharpie, pushpins on wood
    Kate Parks
    "Bang," paint, Sharpie, pushpins on wood
  • "Act of Creation," stencil/spray paint
    Registered Artist
    "Act of Creation," stencil/spray paint
  • "Bird," encaustic wax on wood and handmade iron bars/frame
    Jessie Smith-Larson
    "Bird," encaustic wax on wood and handmade iron bars/frame
  • "Yellow Flower," acrylic on canvas
    Karla Milne-West
    "Yellow Flower," acrylic on canvas
  • "Hummingbird Totem," digital composition
    Colleen Barkley
    "Hummingbird Totem," digital composition
  • "Pollinator Propaganda: Series 2," stencil/spray paint
    Melanie Oliva
    "Pollinator Propaganda: Series 2," stencil/spray paint

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