Miami Grad Creates A Real Buzz

Melanie Oliva,
Melanie Oliva, “Pollinator Propaganda: Series 1”

By Sarah Tyrrell

Miami University alumna, Melanie Oliva, wants to inspire others to save the bees, and she plans to do so through art.

In August, Oliva helped in launching the project Inspiration Pollination. While raising awareness of this global issue, Inspiration Pollination is also promoting the value of art. The movement involves artists and writers countrywide that are all contributing pieces with the intention to incite conversation.

Over the years, birds, bees, and other pollinating insects have been disappearing. As small as they may be, the extinction of pollinators would be detrimental to the overall food supply.

According to the USDA, bee pollination alone is depended upon for $15 billion in increased crop value annually.

Oliva graduated from Miami in 1999 with a BFA in Graphic Design. She went on to work in advertising in Chicago.

Ten months ago she and her husband relocated to Miami, Fla. where she chose to shift her career back to her roots in the arts, but accompanied by an entirely different passion.

“I’ve always been interested in environmentalism.”

Recognizing that the fading pollinator population deserved greater attention, Oliva saw an opportunity for her passions in art and environmentalism to merge with this new project.

Leif Erik Johansen,
Leif Erik Johansen, “Uprising”

In a way, this union of artists is combatting pollination with pollination. These artists are able to spread ideas and inspire others through the power of online communities.

She claims that visual aid does so much more in creating a message and argues that, “artists tend to spark ideas, why not use those to pollinate something that is important?”

Oliva hopes Inspiration Pollination will “eventually grow into a nonprofit that furthers other artists who are interested in environmentalism.”

Before launching this promising nonprofit, the first step is establishing awareness. Oliva is looking for more contribution and she is even hopeful students at Miami can get involved.

“We want to get the idea out to students and we would like for them to participate.”

Outside of involvement at Miami, Oliva has an overarching goal to do a touring show in the US.

With a website in the works and an outpouring of support from the Environmental Art community, Inspiration Pollination takes on a fresh approach in the fight to save the bees.

Jennifer Kohl Hanley of Hound Dog Designs (and Miami graduate), embroidered onesie
Jennifer Kohl Hanley of Hound Dog Designs (and Miami graduate), embroidered onesie

To learn more, Melanie Oliva can be contacted at inspirationpollination@gmail.com.

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