Current Exhibition

Monday, April 20 to May 22, 2015
Reception: Arbor Day Friday, April 24 from 5 - 7 p.m.

Monday, April 20, 2015 brings the opening of the exhibition THE BEE-NEFIT, an installation by Ashley Ryba, at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

The Bee-nefit is an interactive installation of 200 ceramic cells that raises awareness about the importance of honey bees in our ecosystem. Artist Ashley Ryba intends to aid in their well-being and longevity. The reception coincides with Nebraska City’s annual Arbor Day weekend festivities, also celebrating the beauty of pollination and the importance of trees.

In 2006, alarms were sounded by American beekeepers because large amounts of honey bees were disappearing. The Bee-nefit is an effort to educate people regarding the importance of honey bees. The installation is composed of two hundred hexagonal cells arranged in a pattern similar to a honeycomb. Visitors are encouraged to take a piece of the exhibition and indigenous seeds that when planted and grown will provide bee nourishment. The gallery reception will also include special guests from the UNL Extension Kimmel Education and Research Center, Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild and Dr. Deb Weitzenkamp. Their current work also explores creativity in educating the public about the important role of pollinators.

Ashley Ryba was born in Columbus, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014. While earning her undergraduate degree, Ryba received the Kimmel Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the 2014 Undergraduate Vreeland Award, the Elgas Project Grant, and was a recipient of the UCARE Undergraduate Research Award. She assisted ceramicist and UNL Emerita Professor Gail Kendall for two years. Ryba creates interactive installations about environmental conservation, which require the participation of the audience to complete the project. Through her work, she hopes to foster an appreciation for our natural environment, and in the viewers, spark a desire to do their part in protecting it.

The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts is located at 801 3rd Corso in Nebraska City and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free, handicapped accessible, and open to the public. For more information, call 402-874-9600.

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