by Bailey Blaker
What is the true cost of coal? The non-profit activist group Beehive Collective of Machias, Maine may have the answer. The artistic collaborators, who have been visiting Kenyon for the last three years for sustainability talks, will be showcasing a work entitled The True Cost of Coal at the Horn Gallery tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. The event is sponsored by Kenyon’s own Environmental Campus Organization (ECO) as part of the group’s “week of sustainability.”
Beehive Collective’s massive canvas drawings feature intricate designs that illustrate specific environmental or social issues, such as the disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples. ECO President Lauren Johnstone ’15 experienced the Beehive Collective’s work the last time they came to campus. “It’s stunning the kind of work and meaning that go into these pieces,” Johnstone said. Representatives from the group will walk the audience through each section of the piece, telling the story behind the work and answering any questions the audience may have about environmental issues.
ECO member Kay Burrows ’18 feels the Beehive Collective’s work will help expand environmental awareness on campus. “I hope that it reminds people that activism isn’t always people holding signs in a protest,” Burrows said. “It can always be just art. … It can always be just a form of expression.”
Amelia Dunnell ’17 believes Kenyon’s responses to art and students’ willingness to get involved is part of the reason why the collective continues coming to campus. “I think what motivates us as a club to ask them to return to Kenyon every year is because they have this aesthetic and this philosophy of the intersection of art and activism, and caring about the environment and caring about indigenous peoples, that is really highly relevant to a lot of what people at Kenyon care about,” Dunnell said. The Beehive Collective’s work will be available to purchase by donation after the presentation on Thursday.