Now Open

Mind Your Beeswax: The Intersection of Bees and Art
Sept. 21-Oct. 31, 2016

It's become increasingly apparent that bees are essential for the survival of man particularly regarding the food chain. This exhibition demonstrates the importance of bees in the creative realm and the survival of an ancient art form using beeswax. Mind Your Beeswax , explores the work of regional artists using a variety of techniques who have a passion for the bees and their survival as they produce these fascinating artworks.

Free Meet the Artists Reception
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2-4 p.m., Reedy Gallery

All five artists contributing to the "Mind Your Beeswax" exhibit will be on hand, presenting talks, tours and demos. Come see what all the buzz is about!

Incursions When Bees are Few

Silvana Ravena

The connections between psychology and art have been the constant subject of her paintings. "The intention of my work is to make people creatively question what they are seeing, and to make contact with their innermost being. For me, art is a type of embodiment in which energy and space converge and experience creates matter. It is also a way of awakening perception by addressing the senses directly, which allows better conditions to facilitate the communication between the person and his or her deeper self". This Brazilian born artist considers memory, passage of time and pleasure as she combines hot wax and pigments to bring forth a impactful visual  experience for the viewer.

James Edward Scherbarth

An award winning Minnesota artist, Scherbarth is best known for his use of color, line and texture in creating contemporary abstract oil & cold wax paintings.  His art is influenced by nature, his Irish-German ancestry and an ever evolving spirituality.  Jim’s life perspective has been shaped by growing up in Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit areas, a US Army tour of duty in Vietnam, being the eldest of seven and through continuous learning, traveling and sharing.  His creative process is an intuitive one of constructing & deconstructing, of collecting, blending, erasing, blurring, marking and clarifying mimicking the natural processes of the world: accumulation, erosion, growth and  decay while recording the evidentiary marks of life.  He maintains a working/teaching studio in the historic Northrup King Bldg. in  NE Mpls.

O'Neill Refuge  Prairie Flowers  She imagined herself a bird 

Clare O'Neill

Working in mixed media Clare O'Neill combines her photographs with pigments, wax and oils, which adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to her contemporary photo encaustic paintings. Clare uses rich imagery, bold brush strokes, and playful drips to create paintings full of gesture, spontaneity, and motion. It's a labor-intensive process where the photographs are printed on tissue paper in multiple pieces, and then carefully imbedded into the layers of hot beeswax. The result-a stunning, modern, ethereal design with a warm textural appeal.

Linda Ackland-Kolb

Linda Ackland-Kolb received her MA from the University of Minnesota at Mankato and her MFA from the University of North Dakota. The mixing and application of color in a painterly way and the execution of the wax in a sculpture-like technique, presents unusual and unique visual relationships with unending surprises as she mixes pastel and beeswax. Ms. Kolb has exhibited locally and regionally with various solo shows, invitational and group exhibitions. She has been commissioned by area hospitals and her work is found in many permanent and private collections.

Jeff Millikan

The themes in Milliken's work have always revolved around the darker aspects of the human condition and our futile attempts to control and subvert the natural forces around us. In his work with bees he has been collaborating with nature in a more radical way, using insects themselves to create the sculptural pieces. He has constructed a series of specialized bee hives which over the last decade have been stocked with objects, windows and, most recently, various texts. By cutting and painting these books with beeswax he is able to suggest shapes on which the bees build comb. Though it's a slow and rather tedious process and they rarely do what he intends, he is able to cut, melt and alter the pieces throughout the process, with the bees in each instance repairing or responding to what he has done with alterations of their own. At times there are thousands of bees on one book and in some instances, they are full of nectar and brood casings and literally dripping with honey. "It fascinates me to watch the reclamation of such a potent symbol of civilization by nature's agents".

Coming Soon:

Immediate Past Exhibit:

A Brush With Beauty: Painting in the Chinese Tradition
July 1-Sept. 18, 2016

The beauty and philosophy of an ancient civilization spring forth as this art exhibit engages the soul and mind. Five artists, trained in the Asian brush style, convey beauty, energy and form--a wonderful prelude to the emerging Chinese Garden at the Arboretum, with Phase 1 opening in late summer.

The Artists

Kairong Liu

Peace and Content


As artist and teacher, Liu enjoys painting outdoors and finds beauty in unexpected places. A native of China, his art combines the disciplined training of the Asian brush with Minnesota scenes and landscapes. Liu's work is in such public places as the Mayo Clinic, the Governor's Residence in St. Paul as well as galleries nationally.


Artist, published author and teacher, Zhang displays a passion for the cultural and poetic aspect of Asian art. Inspired by nature, this master creates works of Chinese calligraphy and Chinese landscape paintings in traditional and contemporary styles. He was honored to serve as the calligraphy judge for the 49th annual Sumi-e Society of America Calligraphy Exhibition.

Golden Fish and Lotus
Bob Schmitt Hiding Lotus


Yang considers himself as a
"naturalism" artist, fascinated
by Mother Nature, with
themes including humans,
landscapes, flowers and
animals. Capturing the
natural "rhythm" is his
constant pursuit, inspired by
the lakes, woods and grass
landscapes of Minnesota.
He loves to paint the lotus,
a holy Buddhist symbol and
icon of noble character in
Chinese culture. Yang's art
has been featured in the 2016
Canada juried competition
and won first prize at the
2011 Minnesota State Fair.


Using ink and the Asian
brush for more than 50
years, Schmitt often
integrates familiar
Minnesota scenes into
his art. "Whether I am
painting Minnehaha
Falls, Lake Superior
or the inner thresholds
of the Nine Gates series,
these are landscapes
of the spirit which
invite the viewer in." shopatlaughingwaters


Shen, an artist and teacher, creates Chinese ink paintings and also has a degree in oil painting from China's prestigious Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. His work is featured in shows and the permanent collection at Beijing National Museum. Shen's distinctive style uses rich color in tradional ink paintings.

Reedy Gallery

Acqua Brasilis Acqua Brasilis by Silvana Ravena

Reedy Gallery offers eclectic interpretations of nature's beauty, outdoor landscapes and scenes by talented, award-winning artists with roots in Minnesota. Works in oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and other media add nature-inspired artistry to engage visitors in exploring the beauty and wonders of the outdoors at the Arboretum.

Subscribe to info on art exhibit openings, Meet the Artist and gallery events from curator Wendy DePaolis at

Typically, four to five fine art exhibits are presented each year, touching on seasonal themes and explorations. Informal tours are offered weekly by trained volunteer docents and staff. Often, artists talks and painting demonstrations are scheduled in the Great Hall or in the gardens to round out the exhibit. Reedy Gallery exhibits are open year-round during Visitor Center hours and are free with Arboretum admission. 

Art in the Reedy Gallery is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale directly benefitting the Arboretum as well as helping to support the local arts community.  Purchases can be made through the Arboretum Gift Store

The Arboretum is pleased to work with the local arts community in curating and organizing exhibits  Please contact arts curator, Wendy DePaolis at if you are interested in showing your work as part of a future exhibit.