Carnegie Art Museum Studio Gallery is pleased to celebrate Terry Arena’s spring residency with the exhibition Not Just Bees. During her March 16 – June 10 residency at CAM Studio Gallery, Arena reached a milestone of creating more than 100 graphite renderings as part of her ongoing series “Symbiotic Crisis” (begun in 2014). Inspired by colony collapse disorder and its relationship to agriculture and changes in food culture, Arena’s representational drawings are often installed in clusters reminiscent of bee swarms. The first iteration of this project was shown in the back of a box truck turned into a mobile viewing gallery that was driven to art areas in Los Angeles—a reference to the transportation of bees nationwide to pollinate crops.


For her exhibition at CAM, Arena reflects on various issues that have been charged with the decline of the bee, such as pesticide use and lack of genetic diversity within the hives. She will present clusters of her graphite drawings as well as a collection of never before seen drawings and sculptural works that highlight her process and models. The labor-intensive works are drawn on repurposed metal lids such as mason jar tops and cookie tins ranging in size from 2 ¾ inches to 12 inches.

Terry Arena received her MA in Painting at California State University, Northridge in 2009. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Art & History in Lancaster, CA; The Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, and at El Camino College in Torrance. In addition, she has had three solo shows of her graphite still life renderings at Sinclair College, OH, Ventura College, CA, and Moorpark College, CA. Her work has also been included in various group exhibits such as Sweet Subversives: Contemporary California Drawings at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, City and Self at Red Pipe Gallery, Los Angeles, and Chain Letter at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica. Arena currently lives and works in Ventura, CA.

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