Gabriel Tempesta and the Art of the Bumblebee

West Branch Gallery
Mar 25, 2015 4:27PM

In the winter of 2013, Gabriel Tempesta heard an interview on Vermont Public Radio with scientists from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and he was inspired to take action. “The program was about the current state of Vermont’s bumblebee population and the survey they were conducting with the help of volunteers from around the state to help document the number of bumblebees in our region,” said Tempesta. Since then, Tempesta has been documenting the humble bumblebee in charcoal drawings.

Pollinator #2 is from Gabriel Tempesta’s “Bumblebee” Series. “This body of work was created to help bring awareness to the plight of Vermont’s bumblebees whose numbers have been declining over the last ten years from a number of environmental reasons including pesticide use and the changing climate,” writes Tempesta.

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies works with scientific researchers and everyday citizens to advance wildlife conservation. They engage the public through writing, social media, public speaking and through Outdoor Radio, a show on Vermont Public Radio.

“More than one-quarter of Vermont’s bumblebee species, which are vital crop pollinators, have either vanished or are in serious decline,” reported the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. “Wild bees pollinate wildflowers and most crops in Vermont, including blueberries, tomatoes, squash and one of the state’s essential commodities: apples.”

Tempesta has been working with the Center to learn more about what is impacting the State’s bumblebee population and using their research and images to get inspiration for how to render the bees. The result of his efforts is a collection of hyper-realistic portrayals of bees in action. With a close up perspective, Tempesta shows bees as they extract pollen from flowers and deliver it back to their hive. The drawings gives us an intimate view of bees that can inform our thinking at a time that it is critically important that we think about them.

Gabriel Tempesta grew up in rural Vermont. He received formal art training at Montserrat College of Art. He has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Vermont and New Jersey. Tempesta’s charcoal painting, Acadian Mist, won first place in the “other media” category of the 2012 Richeson75 International Landscape, Seascape and Architecture competition. His work, Old Birch on Elmore Mountain, won second place at the 2012 South End Art Hop Juried Show in Burlington, Vermont and first honorable mention at the 2012 “Land and Light, Water and Air” show at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, Vermont.

See more works by Gabriel Tempesta by following West Branch Gallery on Artsy

West Branch Gallery