The New Beehive
About The Grand Beehive Exhibition
The New Beehive is a contemporary interpretation of The Grand Beehive, an exhibition produced in 1980 by the Utah Arts Council (now known as the Utah Division of Arts & Museums). The exhibition consisted of a variety of objects, spanning from 19th-century historical artifacts to contemporary representations and interpretations of the beehive shape. It was displayed at the Salt Lake Arts Center (now known as the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art) before being featured at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the uses of the beehive in Utah culture, please visit The Grand Beehive Exhibition.
The goal of the New Beehive project is to explore, expand, and challenge the uses of beehive iconography in Utah. Artists from diverse creative and cultural perspectives are invited to propose an original artwork inspired by Utah’s state symbol, the beehive, or associated imagery such as honeycomb, bees, and beekeeping. Submissions should reflect the artist’s personal interpretation of and relationship to that imagery. In this state-wide collaborative exhibition, artists will create a unique piece of art or modify their traditional practices to fit a prefabricated hexagonal wooden frame. When the frames are brought together for display, the individual cells that compose the state’s New Beehive will reveal the diversity and evolution of Utah’s artistic community.
Linda Bergstrom, Virginia Catherall, Michelle Franzoni Thorley, Daniel George, Lily Havey, Jann Haworth, Kate Ithurralde, Tzvi Izaksonas, Abraham Kimball, Lenka Konopasek, Jamie Kyle, Adam Larsen, Sarah May, Sarah Morton, Alison Neville, Mercedes Ng, Lola Reyes, Humberto Sanchez Conejo, Heidi Somsen, Julie Strong, Danielle Susi, John Tavoian, Douglas Tolman, Kalani Tonga, Jeremiah Tuchyner, Justin Wheatley, Laura Sharp Wilson, Rebecca Woolston, Ashton Young, and MönSr Yusef.
The original exhibition opened September 13, 1980, at the Salt Lake Art Center and ran through October 19, 1980. The Renwick Gallery of the then National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) then displayed The Grand Beehive from April 24, 1981 through November 8, 1981.
In celebration of the opening, the gallery held a special preview event for Washington D.C. “VIPs,” officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Utah politicians. Attendees enjoyed such items as specially produced creme soda from Beehive Beverages, beehive-shaped cookies from Mrs. Backer's Bakery, and Snelgrove's molded beehive ice cream, all straight from Utah.