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April 03, 2016

Arts and Nature Cross-Pollinate

ArtStarts and Jasna Guy

Did you know that pollen comes in many different colours? Or that there are over 20,000 different kinds of bees? Artist jasna guy recently teamed up with educator and artist Lori Weidenhammer to engage families in a rich learning experience with unique insights into the wonderful world of pollen and bees.

Using botanical illustrations, plant samples and informational charts as reference points, jasna and Lori seamlessly cross-pollinated botanical and artistic concepts! Participants had a chance to view an impressive colour chart with samples of pollen colours from 120 plants found in nature.

Magnifying tools were also used to explore flower and pollen samples such as rich, deep purple pollen grains from blooming anemones. Every single plant has a unique pollen grain with different shapes and exterior decoration.

Jasna encouraged participants to explore a magnified view of the different parts of the flower essential for reproduction and pollination. Young participants learned names of flower parts such as the anther, stigma, and pollen tube.

Inspired by the amazing micro-photographic images of pollen grains in the book, Pollen: The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers, families crafted personalized beautiful buttons and hand-drawn postcards.

Busy hands gathered materials, stamped, coloured and experimented with stencils to make their custom button designs and hand-drawn postcards. Meanwhile, Lori went from table to table spreading her vast botanical knowledge and passion for bees.

Young nature lovers learned that flowers and bees have a symbiotic relationship—flowers require the help of bees in order to reproduce, while bees also depend on their nectar and sticky "pollen loads" which they collect and carry back into their nests.

Families were surprised by the many variations and colours of "pollen loads" that bees collect for their nests. They also learned that bees carry pollen in different ways. Some have baskets on their sides where they collect pollen. Some carry the sticky pollen on their hairy legs.

At the end of the workshops, each participant had a button and postcards to take away with them, along with their newfound knowledge about the importance of pollination and bees.

Read more about this event on jasna's blog and on Lori's blog, too! To learn about the importance of bees, check out Lori Weidenhammer's newly published book, Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees.

We were also happy to be able to celebrate ArtStarts' 20th anniversary with to the families who attended our workshops. We sand Happy Birthday together and enjoyed some sweet treats. At the ArtStarts Gallery, we enjoyed a delicious cake from Bella Gelateria and at River Market we indulged in yummy cupcakes from Pamola Bakery.

Check out lots more photos in our ArtStarts on Saturdays and ArtStarts at River Market Facebook albums!

We have lots of fun events coming up! We hope to see you soon at our View Finders Exhibition Opening Event and Wet Plate Collodion (Tintype) Workshop on Saturday, April 16. Also, be sure to join us at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, April 30, 2016 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, May 1, 2016 for hands-on workshops in direct animation, presented in partnership with Cineworks. As always, admission is free! See you there!

Thanks to Boeing for their generous support of the ArtStarts on Saturdays series.

Thanks to Westminster Savings and River Market for their generous support of the ArtStarts at River Market series.


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