Beeswax is such stuff as artists' dreams are made on these days.
The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., will open a beeswax chamber on March 2, and now the Ganna Walska Lotusland garden in Santa Barbara opens an art exhibition Saturday that's all about bees and their hive culture.
"Swarm: A Collaboration With Bees" features a dozen artists using sculpture, photography and drawings to pay homage to the pollinator whose numbers are dwindling worldwide. The exhibition remains until May 4 at the garden that was once the private home of singer Ganna Walska of Poland.
Rose-Lynn Fisher of Los Angeles creates super-magnified photographs of bees that she compiled into a 2012 book "Bee." “When I first viewed the bee’s eye magnified, I was amazed to see a field of hexagons. I thought of honeycomb, and marveled at the similarity between the structure of the bee’s vision and structures she builds," she says in a statement about the exhibition.
Penelope Stewart of Toronto, an artist in residence at the garden, has been creating beeswax tiles and decorations for her carefully crafted bas-relief in the exhibition that will cover three walls. (You can watch her progress on Lotuslands' Facebook site.)
Visitors may see the exhibition along with a guided tour of the 37-acre botanical garden at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission costs $35 for adults, $10 for children 5 to 18, free for 4 and younger. Reservations are required.
There's also a special salon with Stewart at 3 p.m. Saturday at which she'll discuss her beeswax architecture, followed by a reception. Tickets cost $55 each and must be bought in advance.
Contact: Ganna Walska Lotusland, (805) 969-9990