- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
If you’re a first-year graduate student in entomology, you spend much of your time buried in books or conferring with your major professor.
Emily Bzdyk, who is pursuing her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis, does that, too--and more.
She's heavily involved in art.
Two of her art works will be shown at the “Bees at The Bee” art show from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 8 in the Sacramento Bee’s open courtyard, 2100 Q St. The event, sponsored by The Bee, features bee-themed art from talented artists within a 12-county area.
Art show coordinator Laurelin Gilmore of Sacramento said a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the art will benefit honey bee research at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.
In other words, the artists are donating to UC Davis honey bee research.
Emily Bzdyk, a native of Long Island, N.Y. who grew up in Round Hill, Va., said she's always loved insects. “I raised caterpillars and other bugs as a kid.”
In high school, she helped monitor aquatic stream health, and led a team.Then it was on to St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a public honors college, where she majored in biology and minored in studio art and environmental studies. Her senior thesis? A Guide to Native Plants of Historic St. Mary's City, which she also illustrated.
Emily, now working on her doctorate of entomology at UC Davis, is researching “the revision and biological life history of Litomegachile, a subgenus of leafcutter bees found all across the United States."
She works closely with her major professor, Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, and with three other entomologists who form her guidance committee: Tom Zavortink, Robbin Thorp, and Neal Williams.
And art? Emily has pursued art all her life. She photographs insects (and other subjects), creates earrings, sculpts, paints and draws.
”I enjoy any artmaking process--really.”
At St. Mary’s College of Maryland, she honed her skills by enrolling in a scientific illustration course, and interned at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., where she completed a drawing of a beetle, for a new species description, for Alexander Konstantinov.
Last month she finished creating the illustrations for a beginning beekeeping book written by retired UC Davis apiculturist-professor Norman Gary. It will be published later this year.
The May 8 bee art show is Emily Bzdyk's next project. She contributed a framed 8x10 pen-and-ink drawing of a leafcutter bee, Megachile centuncularis, and a framed 8x10 photo, titled "Yellow Bee Face," of a male Valley carpenter bee.
Emily also will offer her bee earrings (below) at the art show--and maybe other items.
A salute to Sacramento Bee and artist Laurelin Gilmore for making this all happen--a benefit for the bees.