(Outside Gallery, Downtown Monroe, LA)
The Outside Gallery has a growing reputation for large, bold installations. In an unexpected way, Jenny Ellerbe’s Will Work For Food might be the boldest. Ellerbe chose to exhibit only two small works of art as a call to arms to protect one of our greatest natural resources. Bees. Without these insects, we would have virtually no food, but we take them for granted every day. We rely on bees while never really considering how the chemicals we use impact them. If you miss the images on view, you have made Ellerbe’s point. We, bees and humans, are in this together. We must work for our food! Outside Gallery, Art Alley (N. 2nd Street) and the railroad tracks, Monroe, LA. Like the Outside Gallery on Facebook @outsidegallery and on Instagram @outsidegallery318.
Below is a poem that inspired Ellerbe’s installation:
Letter to Someone Living Fifty Years from Now
Most likely, you think we hated the elephant, the golden toad, the thylacine, and all variations of whale harpooned or hacked into extinction.
It must seem like we sought to leave you nothing but benzene, mercury, the stomachs of seagulls rippled with jet fuel and plastic.
You probably doubt that we were capable of joy, but I assure you we were.
We still had the night sky back then, and like our ancestors, we admired its illuminated doodles of scorpion outlines and upside-down ladles.
Absolutely, there were some forests left! Absolutely, we still had some lakes!
I’m saying, it wasn’t all lead paint and sulfur dioxide. There were bees back then, and they pollinated a euphoria of flowers so we might contemplate the great mysteries and finally ask, “Hey guys, what’s transcendence?”
And then all the bees were dead.
About the Alt Ex Program:
We are rolling out a public art initiative with the goal of putting more great arts entertainment and education front and center in Northeast Louisiana. Called Alt-Ex, short for Alternative Exhibitions, the initiative will feature pop up exhibitions, small-scale public art projects, and off-site artist demonstrations. The first Alt-Ex project is currently on view at the Outside Gallery adjacent to Art Alley downtown. Follow the Masur Museum of Art on Instagram @masurmuseum and on Facebook @masurmuseumofart for more information.