Art show statement:
Cross-Pollination: Celebrating Pollinators with Art & Science
Pollinators are responsible for a third of our food and the reproduction of 88% of flowering plants world-wide. The seeds and fruit they help to produce sustains many creatures, including humans. Arizona has one of the most diverse native bee and plant populations on the planet! Globally, there are 20,000 bee species, 1700 of which live in Arizona, and 260 on Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks! Additionally, there are 3500 plant species in our state, it has the fourth highest plant diversity in the U.S.
Pollination is a mutualistic interaction between insects and plants, whereby both partners benefit. However, science tells us that flowers deceive and pollinators exploit. This tension has created an outstanding amount of beauty and biological diversity. Fields full of flowers exist because those flowers are trying to reproduce with minimal effort. Markets full of fruit exist as a result of pollinatorsforaging at flowers to feed their offspring. Tension, challenge, and chaos are foundations of creation.
As artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs, we are fascinated by the wonder and beauty of these complex relationships. We are also dedicated to protecting them from many threats: habitat loss, pesticide use, invasive species and introduced diseases, and climate change. Now is the time for us to learn more and do all that we can to ensure their survival as our fates are intertwined.
The Cross-Pollination installation is a way to celebrate our region’s unique pollinator diversity and our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that future generations get to experience fields of wildflowers abuzz with pollinators. By weaving art and science together, we hope to increase access to nature’s lessons for humanity and our understanding of the complex relationships between plants and their pollinators, a relationship that helps support life on Earth.
Our hope is that these works will inspire your curiosity to observe more closely the next time you take a walk in the woods, and appreciate this fantastic interplay that is going on all around us.
For more information about pollinators and the plants that sustain them visit The Xerces Society For Invertebrate Conservation: www.xerces.org.