We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Hagerty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
One of my longest on-going and greatest inspirations is an intentional community-building installation project called “Heart of the Hive”. This project teaches participants how to weave a honeycomb hexagon-shaped “cell” of a beehive in the indigenous Huichol weaving style known as the “ojo de Dios” (the eye of God). Each participant is asked to make an intention for their weaving, honoring the traditional practice of weaving a God’s eye. Next we connect each of the cells together creating a woven beehive installation that can be placed in any shape space.
The project uses the symbolism of the beehive as a means of educating participants about sustainable practices and the importance of taking care of our Earth, along with being mindful of all living beings. The fibers for the workshop are sourced as sustainably as possible, using recycled or natural fibers and natural dyeing processes. This inspired me to start a non-profit called Sea of Nectar in order to source natural weaving materials supporting Indigenous artists.
The hive installation becomes a representation of the strength and beauty of the community, the creativity and unique gifts of each individual within the community, the power of intentional living, and the restoration of harmony and interconnection between humans and the Earth.
With hives being woven all over the world, the ultimate goal of the Heart of the Hive is to create an on-going art installation that connects communities in the heart and inspires intentions of global harmony and unity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my mixed-media/multi-media artistic journey I enjoy not feeling limited to a specific style or medium in order to express my ideas and inspiration. I create illustrations, paintings, encaustic work, digital work, weavings, music, and also spend a lot of time growing and making things from my garden. It can be challenging to break free of ideas around needing a very specific brand or style in order to be successful, but this can make me feel somewhat trapped as an artist. I enjoy the freedom of allowing what I want to be expressed to guide the decision making process around what medium I use. I find that even though I use many different mediums, there are still common themes and styles that permeate through all of my art. This helps me paint an even broader stroke of who I am as an artist and person. I am inspired by the unexpected and the Great Mystery of the creative process!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I always take my friends up to the Haleakala Summit for a sunset or sunrise!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to the SCAD Bee Alumni Atelier Community for sponsoring the first hive in Lacoste, France!
Mackensey Alexander, Joseph Gamble