New summer swarm: The Beehive Collective lands in Asheville

The Beehive Collective, a grass-roots arts and education group with origins in rural Maine, and a local “hive” they call “Wezeltown” in Old Fort, is celebrating its latest campaign, employing an elaborate story-telling and illustration project, in a release party at Firestorm Café & Books (at 48 Commerce St.) on Friday, August 6, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Two years in the making, “The True Cost of Coal” is an elaborate graphical narrative that explores the story of mountaintop removal mining and its impacts in Appalachia and beyond, using a 30’x16’ banner.  The party will feature music from local artists and traditional Appalachian ballad singing.

The project is the culmination of a highly collaborative research process, as first-hand story collecting is central to the Beehive methodology. The project begins with extensive touring and field research, during which worker “bees” interview hundreds of community members about the effects of surface mining on society.


“We feel it’s extremely important to gather our information from those who are most impacted on a daily basis,” according to Beatriz Mendoza, a Beehive illustrator who has been living and working on the banner with a team of Beehive Collective members in Old Fort for the last year. “They are the experts on this issue.” The Bees then weave visual metaphors into a graphical “patchwork quilt” based on the collected personal stories.

The Aug. 6 release party will feature live music, including traditional Appalachian ballad singer Sara Lynch-Thomason, who will provide coal mining ballads old and new.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “New summer swarm: The Beehive Collective lands in Asheville

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.