How to build a fantasy beehive diorama?

HIVE was a, outreach artist residency project completed for

Massasoit Community College (MCC), Brockton, MA. 2014-2015.

Curiosity was required. Experience was irrelevant.

This installation was on display in the MCC Student Cafe from June 2015 to May 2019.


Process Work

Part I-Building Honeycombs


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Part II-Hive Mind


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Part III-Bees And Flowers


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Finished Installation Images


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Before & After

WIP beforefinal-entire


During this project we forged a living hive community with connections that extended well beyond the finished art forms. Roland Blanchette’s description on the plaque next to the work reads:

The Hive is a figurative rendition of the life of bees.  The backdrop, the flowers, and the honeycombs create a place like no other.  This is also true of Massasoit’s cafeteria.  Each bee in The Hive is unique and different, like our students: endlessly active, endlessly interesting.                 -Roland Blanchette, PhD

Greatest thanks go to:

  • Karen Curran & Hianula Monteiro. Massasoit students, co-creators.
  • Donna Beals, Roland Blanchette, & Sue Thomas. Massasoit staff, co-creators…with Roland providing organizational support and engineering in addition to creativity at every necessary and normal obstacle. He did this often, always exceeding my expectation.
  • Don Browne. My better half in life, and a master of carpentry power tools. He keeps all my creative limbs intact for the next adventure.
  • All the bees were made from the elegantly designed Bee Puzzle by Mutsuki.
  • Mike Tripp, President of The Tripp Company of Braintree MA and his staff. All the bees were cut on the Tripp company’s amazing UNIVERSAL laser cutting equipment.
  • The Art Connection of Boston who subsidized some of the materials costs. They connected all of us so HIVE could have a home.
  • Everyone in the Massasoit Community College organization who was willing to help facilitate making a home for this vision. Massasoit is a unique institution and is a gem in the City of Brockton.