Revisiting Inspiration Pollination

By Sarah Tyrrell

Artist Melanie Oliva

Eco-artist Melanie Dickerson Oliva will work for food, but not in the traditional sense that you might think. We first met this alumna of Miami University in September 2015, just one month after the launching of Inspiration Pollination.

With the help of her brother, Scott Dickerson of Nashville, and her husband, Mike Oliva, this grassroots coalition of creators is devoting some of their work to draw attention to the unfortunate rapid decreasing of pollinators has expanded greatly in less than a year. In eight months, this online group has grown to over 600 makers after major recognition in an article published by The Huffington Post.

Creating awareness for environmental issues through her artwork, Oliva strives to do her part in ensuring the Earth’s inhabitants will have enough food for years to come.

“The group creates free advertising for pollinators and their role in food production, by encouraging members to incorporate them into their next project,” said Oliva.

Oliva believes that awareness, collaboration and action are necessary in protecting our ecosystems and combatting climate change. To simply ignore environmental issues and not take action would be irresponsible.

In March, Oliva launched her “After-image” series in addressing these issues. Each painting demonstrates a problem and potential solution.

Melanie Oliva in collaboration with Scott Dickerson, “Nashville After-image #1″, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16” 
Melanie Oliva in collaboration with JohnBob Carlos, “Florida After-image #1″, acrylic on canvas 48 x 36”
Melanie Oliva, “After-image #1″, acrylic on canvas 16 x 20” 
Melanie Oliva, “Miami After-image #3″, acrylic on canvas 20 x 16”

“Each painting represents what you see when you close your eyes, after staring at something bright – suggesting the subject may only survive as an after-image unless action is taken. With this series, I have the ability to give endangered plants and animals a voice, who so desperately need our empathy and respect. I worry about the world my niece and nephew will inherit. I’ve found that using my art to convey a message can inspire action.”


She has recently worked with photographer and activist JohnBob Carlos on “Florida After-image #1” to depict an area of the Everglades that will be negatively affected by the River of Grass Greenway bike path.

She has recently worked with photographer and In December she advocated for the Florida Black Bears with her artwork and published an article in collaboration with additional artists, including Herb Williams of Nashville.

You can join the group on Facebook, read their blog, and follow their progress on Twitter @inspr8npollin8n and Instagram @inspirationpollination.


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