by Nila Do Simon | April 22, 2024

Discover the Buzz in The Palm Beaches

Beyond Blossoms: The Power of Pollinators exhibition takes an artist’s approach to life sciences and puts them on display at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County

The Robert M. Montgomery Jr. Building houses the art gallery for Beyond Blossoms: The Power of Pollinators. Photography by Sargent Photography.

They say art imitates life. If that’s the case, then the next few weeks will be full of meaningful reflection as the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County unveils two celebrations full of premier art.

Christine Ellinghausen, Galactic Pollinators, 2023, Archival photo collage, mixed media on aluminum, 36 x 36 x 2 inches

Now through June 22, a pioneering exhibition will be all the buzz at the Cultural Council’s main gallery in Lake Worth Beach. Unexpected in their beauty and deeper meaning, these works of art take flight in “Beyond Blossoms: The Power of Pollinators,” an exhibition that highlights the multifaceted importance of bees, moths, butterflies and myriad other pollinators in imaginative ways. 

Take, for example, artist Victoria Rose Martin’s acrylic piece titled “Protection Key Deer,” which features a mother and baby deer standing in a sea of fauna and staring intensely at the viewer. Deer, vital pollinators whose coat often is covered in pollen only to then be brushed off onto other plants, are given their due as key to essential ecology in this artwork. Then there’s artist Renata Rodriguez, whose mixed media piece applies clever usage of shells to depict a landscape scene full of monarch butterflies, bees and a hummingbird. As two of the 43 Palm Beach County-based artists showing in “Beyond Blossoms,” Martin and Rodriguez represent the range of work and styles on display, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces, printmaking, photography, textiles and sculptures.

Daniel Newcomb, Last Call, 2022, Photography, 16 x 20 x 1 inches.

One of the key pieces in the exhibition is a site-specific installation of a colorful, large-scale mural of mandalas based on photographs of the area’s pollinators—including moths and, surprisingly, salamanders—and magnified images of local pollen. Created with nontoxic, environmentally friendly and temporary materials, the community is invited to stop by the Cultural Council to see the real-time creation of the 8-by-8-foot piece.

“This exhibition is about broadening people’s knowledge,” says Jessica Ransom, the director of artist service at the Cultural Council, the official support agency for arts and culture in The Palm Beaches. “I always thought of bees as pollinators, but this exhibition has taught me that unexpected animals, like salamanders, are as well.”

Wendy DesChene, a curator for Beyond:Blossoms. Photography courtesy of Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches.

Curating the show are Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki, artists and educators with the art collaborative PlantBot Genetic. The pair bring to “Beyond Blossoms” its ongoing Moth Project, an extension of the exhibition being heldon Saturday, April 20, following an art talk with the curators. Utilizing white tents that are equipped with lights to attract moths, attendees are invited to count the moths and examine their value as pollinators. And hopefully spark a conversation or more curiosity.

“Art has the ability to change the way we see the world by awakening our curiosity,” Schmuki says. “My hope is that people who view this exhibition and participate in the process will become curious about our world and feel inspired to take action to improve it.”

“Beyond Blossoms” coincides with the Cultural Council’s exciting celebration called MOSAIC, or Month of Shows, Art, Ideas and Culture. Now in its seventh year, the month-long celebration begins May 1 and showcases premier arts and cultural institutions in Palm Beach County, many offering free or discounted admission tickets or special experiences. 

Jeff Schmuki, a curator for Beyond:Blossoms. Photography courtesy of Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches.

Participating organizations this year include the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, the Cox Science Center and Aquarium and Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. There are  30 limited-time, one-of-a-kind deals offered this year.

“MOSAIC is a make-your-own adventure,” says Lauren Perry, associate vice president of marketing and cultural tourism for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. “We give you literally 30 different things to do, all for free or at a discounted rate in May. This is our opportunity as the Cultural Council to be a place where people can find fulfilling artistic and cultural experiences throughout the county.”

Milena Arango, The Hive 1, 2024, Botanical print on paper and water color pencils, 13.5 x 9.8 inches.

Also in May, more than 90 artists will participate in Palm Beach County Open Studios on May 18 and May 19. Now in its second year, the weekend-long event offers visitors an opportunity to visit artists’ personal studios or notable art-making hubs like Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach and The Peach in West Palm Beach. Building off the success of the inaugural half-day Open Studios event in 2023, this expanded event is a self-guided tour allowing visitors to meet Palm Beach County-based creative professionals where they work, witness the creative process and purchase art directly from them. Participating artists will demonstrate a range of artistic talents such as painting, glassblowing, photography, jewelry making, sculpture, printmaking and more.

Lara Chapman, Bodies Have Wings, 2022, Photography on acrylic, 30 x 30 x 1 inches.

Allan Creary, a local West Palm Beach postmodernism artist, was commissioned by the Cultural Council to create the official MOSAIC 2024 artwork. Combining pop art with Palm Beach vibes, Creary’s resulting piece titled “Pop Beach County,”depicts a lighthouse, eternal sunshine on an easel, flamingos and palm leaves. Attendees can see Allan’s works on display at the Cultural Council’s headquarters in downtown Lake Worth Beach during the Open Studios weekend and take home commemorative, limited-edition lapel pins and posters. 

If the past six years of MOSAIC has shown us anything, this seventh edition is a chance for core memories to bloom around art and culture. “MOSAIC is an opportunity to have experiences,” Perry says. “Where else can you take a glassblowing workshop for two hours at a discounted rate, and literally come home with a vase that you’ve made?” 

To learn more about “Beyond Blossoms: The Power of Pollinators” and MOSAIC, visit