Posted October 2, 2012

New Temple Contemporary exhibition generates buzz

Temple Contemporary, the exhibition space at Tyler School of Art, is not filled with the traditional paintings or sculptures one would expect from a gallery environment.

Instead, Gallery Director Robert Blackson prefers to extend the reach and possibilities of what people think a gallery can be used for — which is one of the principles prompting his inclusion of an exhibition beehive.

The beehive was designed by artist Hilary Berseth, who for many years has been working with bees to create his sculptural artworks.

Collaborating with a Bucks County beekeeper, Berseth places a structure inside a conically shaped piece of plexiglass. The bees cluster and comb out the structure so that they gradually form the artwork over a series of months. Upon completion, a beautiful honeycomb sculpture that the bees have produced will be revealed, while the bees and the beehive will be returned to the beekeeper.

Blackson jokes that with 23,000 bees working in the exhibit, visitor numbers went through the roof the moment the beehive was installed. 

“I think doing projects like this really help us to innovate our engagement with the public," he said. "That’s what we’re interested in.”