Environmental artist Melanie Oliva to public: Don’t kill my buzz

Image from Melanie Oliva

Noting the general public’s distaste for forceful instruction, Miami-based environmental artist Melanie Oliva launched a different kind of campaign to benefit the world’s pollinators. She recently challenged 200 members of the Inspiration Pollination art group, including Asheville’s Leif Erik Johansen, to “post a pollinator-focused project on Facebook and pass the challenge on to four more to keep it ‘pollinating’ throughout the online world.”

This tactic, she hopes, will illustrate bees’ and other pollinators’ importance without spurring defensiveness.

Here is local artist Johansen’s contribution to the collaborative undertaking:

Uprising by Erik Johansen. Image courtesy of the artist
Uprising by Erik Johansen. Image courtesy of the artist

Eventually Oliva hopes to solidify her efforts into a nonprofit organization.

Visit Inspiration Pollination’s Facebook page for more examples of Oliva’s work.

Here is the full release from Oliva:

Miami environmental artist Melanie Oliva launched Inspiration Pollination, an online community of artists and creators who have the power to influence others through their work. This effort was in response to the White House’s announcement in May that pollinators’ numbers are rapidly decreasing, putting them at serious risk for extinction.

“I was surprised at how little many I talked to knew about the matter and how apathetic some were. I thought, ‘If they don’t know just how critical pollinators are, how much does the general public understand?’ Familiar with the work of Josh Keyes, John Sabraw and Mary Iverson, I know that art can elevate important issues. I decided to theme a series of artwork, but I felt I could do more.”

After brainstorming ideas with her husband – some potentially dangerous like installing and manning billboard-like beehives – a simpler idea came to mind. She could encourage other creators to incorporate the message into their next project, gaining what is essentially free advertising for pollinators’ plight. Using the Ice Bucket Challenge as her model, Oliva challenged the original 200 members of Inspiration Pollination (including Asheville’s Leif Erik Johansen and Nashville’s Herb Williams) to post a pollinator-focused project on Facebook and pass the challenge on to four more to keep it “pollinating” throughout the online world. As the group gains a larger following, the artist hopes to turn it into a non-profit that will foster community efforts and help other artists with similar environmental aspirations.

For more information, visit the Inspiration Pollination group page on Facebook, follow on Instagram @inspirationpollination or email inspirationpollination@gmail.com.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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