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Pollinator anthology highlights Rogue Valley artists

Roman Battaglia
JPR News
A sculpture of a bee, one of the pieces on display at the Catalyst Gallery and featured in the Pollinator Anthology.

Artists in the Rogue Valley are releasing a new book featuring artwork about bees and other pollinators.

According to the USDA, of the 1.400 crops that produce all the world's food and plant-based industrial products, nearly 80 percent require pollination by bees, moths, butterflies or other animals.

The Pollinator Anthology is a new book of photos, poems and other art focused on pollinators, and their importance to the local environment.

It contains over 350 submissions from artists all around the Rogue Valley, as well as educational components to help people learn about what they can do in their backyards to support and promote pollinating species.

Local artist Eden Orlando is one of the editors.

“I really consider myself to really be a novice on this topic," Orlando says. "And so I look at it for my own self through the eyes of the community who may also be novices – and how to make that information accessible and exciting.”

After the Almeda Fire in 2020, Orlando collected art, poems and sculptures inspired by the fire in her first anthology, published last year.

Orlando was inspired to create this anthology after talking with artist Rebecca Ramm, who submitted work for the previous book. Ramm, a beekeeper and pollinator advocate, suggested a book about pollinators

Roman Battaglia
Jefferson Public Radio
A painting by Shoshanah Dubiner, which envisions fantasy-like landscapes out of microscopic pictures of bees.

Orlando and Ramm worked on the book with Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, a non-profit dedicated to education about native pollinators. All the proceeds from sales will go to the organization.

Many of the artists hope their work will teach people how they can help pollinators in their neighborhood. Shoshanah Dubiner is a painter based in Ashland. Her pieces are inspired by microscopic photos of bees, transforming them into fantasy-like paintings.

“Once they start looking closer at this world of pollinators and they get it, they’re going to start to take actions.," she says.

In-between the poems and sculptures of bees are educational pages, highlighting the vital role pollinators play in our ecosystem.

Some of the artwork featured in the anthology is on display at the Catalyst Ashland gallery until the end of June. The editors are hosting a launch party at the gallery on June 18th and 25th, during national pollinator week.

CORRECTION: Due to an editorial error, a previous version of this story stated, "It's not much of an exaggeration to say that without pollinators, there would be no food." While pollinators are essential to about 80 percent of the world's food and plant-based industrial products, none of the world's top 10 food crops — wheat, corn, rice, etc. — are pollinator dependent. JPR News regrets its overexuberance.