Insect Invitational, Ona Kalstein

Insect Invitational, Ona Kalstein, Bee Line to the Bee Hive Hairdo, drawing on paper, B Square Gallery

6th Annual Insect Invitational, Group Art Show, B Square Gallery

Insect Invitational is a group show that brings the natural world of insects inside, from the very literal to the abstract.  Sixteen artists are participating in a variety of mediums; sculpture, photography, mono prints, drawing, jewelry and felt. Please visit us for a buggy evening filled with fascination and joy for the six legged world.

Romy Burkus, Heather Bryson, Nick Bryson, Alan Kolc, June Blumberg, Diane Roka, Kathryn Myers, Ona Kalstein, Tara Herberger, Julie Herberger- Dittrich, Jennifer Blyth, Katie VanVliet, Pat Hutchinson, John Hutchinson, Bryan Willette, and Linda Zarnett. 

Heather Bryson opened B Square Gallery in Philadelphia in November 2000. Heather wanted a space to showcase her talented friends’ art, as well as her own work and B Square has facilitated all of her dreams. The art of business and communicating with her clients has helped her to grow as an artist. Come in to discuss custom jewelry designs or browse around the gallery filled with Philly talent. It is a warm and friendly place to visit where you will find lots of special, local one of a kind pieces. B Square Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Hope to see you soon!” – B Square Gallery

Insect Invitational, June Blumberg

Insect Invitational, June Blumberg, Happy, Loving Bugs, yarn, acrylic and fabric, B Square Gallery

B Square Gallery is a lovely art space on 9th Street near Bainbridge, the soaring ceiling is accented with daffodil yellow and the walls are elegantly arranged with art, jewelry, sculpture and crafts. The effect is refreshing and uplifting, the gallery feels like a retail space instead of a museum. There are delightful objects of desire to peruse, from insect themed jewelry and home goods, I especially liked the pouches printed with a dragonfly for elegant place settings or eye glasses case, to mechanical sculptures and whimsical fiber arts. Heather Bryson explained that her goal is to keep her products aspirational yet affordable, recalling as a young collector herself how much fun it was to discover new art. By offering payment plans Heather helps aspiring art collectors to find creative ways to bring art into their homes.

All of the work in the show is themed around insects but many of the invited artists incorporated bee imagery into their art as homage to the gallery. Ona Kalstein‘s collection of drawings use caricature, myth and typography to play with bees. The Bee Hive Hairdo is super-kawaii with all the memes and myths of bugs in the 50s style up-do to the mythological story of the ant and the cicada. June Blumberg uses fabric and fiber like paint, creating abstract expressionism with yarn and fabric. Tara Herberger is showing several, shall we say, weird felted insectoid sculptures that satisfy the urge to discover something strange.

Insect Invitational, Tara Herberger

Insect Invitational, Tara HerbergerThe Jitterbug Collection, mixed media, B Square Gallery

“As an educator of fine arts, I am always going to be a true learner for and during my ACTIVE & fun life. I believe that Etsy is here for an educational reason! Etsy helps in teaching us all about ourselves & about the vast, & wonderfully wide world of both nature & art. We all live here on PLANET EARTH, it’s truly an amazing & unique diversity of culture pertaining to its MANY people / places / things.” – TaraTaraTara on Etsy

Insect Invitational, Diana Roka

Insect Invitational, Diana Roka, Buzzy Loves, mixed media collage, B Square Gallery

Heather Bryson stays close to her college friends from Moore College of Art and Design and loves promoting her colleagues. I am always impressed by the close knit unity of Moore Alumni, they all are very competitive in a business sense yet share deep friendships that last lifetimes. I hear this from Moore grads from the 1980s to recent graduates who stay friends with their classmates and professors. The unique art school has an impressively high job placement rate, the high 90s%, with their graduates usually finding work right after college if they want.

Diana RokaBuzzy Loves, is one of the works Heather pointed to as a symbol of her connection to her Alma Mater and her fondness for her college chums. The quirky collage is simply constructed yet loaded with content, narrative and information design.

Insect Invitational, Pat Hutchinson

Insect Invitational, Pat Hutchinson, Bee Queen, acrylic and oil, B Square Gallery

Pat Hutchinson‘s, Bee Queen, a mesmerizing painting, drew quite a crowd, like bees to honey. The blend of atmospheric naturalism and graphic elements is at once realistic and abstract, the Bee Queen surrounded by her magical court of workers, some colored like flowers, build the mystical honeycombs like a castle around her. The heady mix of drippy paint with cool fields of solid color is modern yet traditional, a symbol for not just the Insect Invitational but the direction of modern art with the artist unafraid to challenge the viewer with mixed messages.

“During the past five years Pat Hutchinson has divided her time between educational projects and a renewed focus on art. She currently serves as a founding trustee and chair of the Belmar Arts Council. Pat Hutchinson is also an exhibiting member of the Guild of Creative Artist in Shrewsbury, NJ, and the Shore Insititute of Comtemporary Arts in Long Branch, NJ.” – Pat Hutchinson

Hours: 215.625.0692,

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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