Gallery 53 to Open 'True Cost of Coal' Exhibit Thurday, June 20


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Gallery 53, located at 53 Main St., will open its doors for the first time on Thursday, June 20, as part of DownStreet Art's 2013 summer installations. Its first exhibition will showcase the works of The Beehive Design Collective titled, "The True Cost of Coal."

 An opening reception will be held on June 20, from 6 to 9 p.m., as part of the DownStreet Art kick off festivities. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

"The True Cost of Coal," a project two years in the making, is The Beehive Design Collective's most recent project. It is a narrative illustration that explores the complex and controversial story of mountaintop removal coal mining and the impacts of coal in Appalachia and throughout the globe.

The "Hive" will present three-large scale reproductions, along with sketches and process pictures of their work. The resulting large scale image is the culmination of an intensive and unified research process, as the Beehive Collective's methodology focuses on first-hand story sharing. In creation of the poster, the Beehive interviewed hundreds of community members throughout the Appalachia region.

Alongside "The True Cost of Coal", the Beehive Collective also will share two other large-scale reproductions of their previous campaigns, "The Free Trade Area of the Americas" and "Plan Colombia." In addition to the campaigns, the exhibit will feature process photos and sketches of the Hive's campaigns. 

The Beehive Collective, which started its operations in 2000 in eastern Maine, have generated a large and loyal fan base with many followers living here in North Adams.

"I am really excited to interact with these motivated artists. I've been a long-time admirer of their work because they 100 percent match the aesthetics I am captured by. Plus, their art resonates important aspects our society that we sometimes turn a blind eye to," said Christina Stott, local artist and assistant gallery manager of MCLA Gallery 51.

During opening the reception on Thursday, June 20, the Beehive Collective will invite viewers to gather around the Hive's giant, collaborative mural, which depicts the fuel it says feeds the "American Dream" - and what we're really paying for it. What are the real alternatives for all of us?

In the weeks ahead, the Hive will offer visual workshops and storytelling, as they discuss coal power, climate change and sustainability. These workshops will be interactive and will be held on June 29 and on July 5 at Gallery 53.

There will be an opportunity for visitors to purchase a miniature poster of "The True Cost of Coal," the proceeds from which will be donated to contribute to The Beehive Collective's work. The Beehive Collective is booking a nation-wide tour to distribute the graphic.

The Beehive Design Collective is a non-profit and volunteer-driven political arts organization. This art-activist collective has gained attention both within the United States and internationally for its collaboratively produced, graphic campaigns that aim to shed light on the negative effects of globalization and resource extraction, while also sharing stories of resistance through a visual medium.

Gallery 53 is a DownStreet Art sponsored gallery, funded by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire County Resource Center and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For more information or to view the graphics visit