Peaceful Death & Pretty Flowers
Renee Adams & Justin Gibbens

August 4 - 27, 2011

Opening Reception: 5 - 8pm
First Thursday, August 4, 2011

Justin Gibbens and Renee Adams live a simple life in the bucolic hamlet of Thorp where, when not making art, they spend their time tending their garden, roaming the hills with their coonhound Gunther, cursing the Ellensburg wind, and for over three years now, keeping bees. Beekeeping is an elusive practice. It can be mysterious and confounding and at times discouraging and tragic beyond belief. But at its best, it is arguably the most rewarding pursuit one could partake in. Renee and Justin's experiences run the gamut including everything from the accidental release of a brand-new queen and losing hives to disease and harsh winters, to successfully capturing a swarm and harvesting nearly 100 pounds of honey last fall (which has been enjoyed daily by the spoonful in tea, drizzled on oatmeal and toast, and even fermented into delicious honey wine).

The honeybee itself is truly a remarkable species. For eons, humankind has revered and coveted this creature, going to great lengths just to taste the sweet nectar of the hive. Historically, bees have been thought to be spirits, used as weapons, admired for their work ethic and efficiency, and valued for the medicinal uses of the hive. Many European cultures even considered their bees to be part of the family and would tell the bees their most intimate family secrets. In virtually every ancient culture, bees and the products of the hive are laden with rich, symbolic meaning and benevolent properties. For centuries, honey production and bee reproduction were not entirely understood, and vast myths and legends were attributed to explain them, including the long held belief that bees were "born" of a dead ox. To this day, scientists are still unlocking many of the mysteries of this social insect for which so much of our modern day agriculture is dependent upon for pollination. It's no surprise that Apis Mellifera, the common honeybee, is the most heavily studied animal on the planet, second only to human beings themselves.

In their joint exhibit, Peaceful Death & Pretty Flowers, Justin Gibbens and Renee Adams draw on their newfound hobby of backyard beekeeping to explore both the ancient myths and modern maladies of the hive.

Hours: Noon-5pm Thurs-Sat,
or by appointment.

Next Exhibition:

Winner Takes All
(more info)


Renee Adams,
Telling the Bees 1
4.5"x12", pressed flowers & bees on paper, 2011

Download Press Release
in PDF format