Good of the Hive

An art installation designed  for Dag  Hammarskjold Plaza draws attention to the importance of honey bees to our food supply and environment. Muralist Matt Willey created  193 painted panels of bees to represent the number of UN-member nations. Already, the artist has made his mark with  bee murals for organizations that include Burt’s Bees corporate headquarters, prestigeous museums and  public spaces.

The park’s entrance dome represents a swarm of bees that have flown from the symbolic bee hives seen on the sculpture platform next to the fountain. 

“The Good of the Hive Initiative begins with the struggle of the honeybees, but it also views the hive as a metaphor for communities of people,”says Willey. 

“Honeybees within the hive ‘think’ collectively; their immune system is collective: the health of the individual is based on the health of the collective.    Whether that community is an actual honeybee hive or the American people as a whole, the health and success of the individual relies heavily on the connections within groups. This is the essence of The Good of the Hive Initiative.”

“We want to  stimulate dialogue and awareness  of how the health of the honey bee impacts our own health and food supply,” says FDHP President Sherrill Kazan.

WHAT’S AILING THE HONEY BEES? Colony Collapse is a disorder in which large numbers of bees disappear from the hive, abandoning their queen. First reported in 2006, the vanishing bees seem to have lost their homing instinct, as if their DNA were damaged. The use of pesticides  known as neonicotinoids has been implicated, but without conclusive evidence, the chemical continues to be widely used in large-scale industrial agriculture.  


Sculptures: “Beyond the Edge”

hammond-sculpture-enhancedHamptons-based artist Phyllis Hammond has created five new sculptures for Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, entitled Tempo, Alien, Flying, Gateway, and Sign of Freedom. Exhibited together under the title Beyond the Edge, the steel and aluminum sculptures feature narrow stem-like bases topped by whimsical, kinetic elements that rotate in the wind. Hammond uses an improvisational method to create her colorful, large-scale sculptures. The metal cutouts are based on playful, looping doodles on paper that she scans and modifies using a computer program. Once the drawings have been refined digitally, the designs are cut from sheets of metal using a water jet machine. After the metal shapes are hammered, bent and welded into curved shapes, they are powder-coated with brightly colored paint.

Sculpture: Dialogue for Peace by Mazeredo

sculpture dove

Dove Sculpture

Mazeredo is a Brazilian artist from Rio de Janeiro whose works have been displayed in Brazil, Europe and major US cities. Recently, she was honoured in Paris, where her Dialogue exhibit was on display at the festival Le Lavage Du Madeleine. When Pope Francis visited Rio in 2013, he personally blessed her St. Francis and White Dove sculpture, which then went on public display at Lido Square in Copacabana. She started her Dialogue for Peace sculpture series in 2013 to generate awareness that dialogue between cultures through art plays a crucial role in fostering peace and understanding. The white sculpture represents the dove of peace. The two red and green sculptures  symbolize a butterfly (freedom) and two lips (dialogue). Notice how the pieces of white sculpture interlock and connect.