Due to a shortage of entrants to date, we are extending the submission deadline for the ESC/SEC photo contest to October 15! So submit today, the thing to remember is THIS YEAR THERE ARE PRIZES!!!

Rules and instructions below!

Eighteenth Annual Photo Contest

The 18th Annual Photo Contest to select images for the 2023 cover of the Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada is now underway. Things are changing a bit, as you will see below, but the cool thing is there will be prizes this year! The cover images are intended to represent the breadth of entomology covered by the Society’s publications. Insects and non-insect arthropods in forestry, urban settings or agriculture; landscapes, field, laboratory or close-ups; or activities associated with physiology, behaviour, taxonomy or IPM are all desirable. A couple of ‘Featured Insects’ are also needed. If selected, your photo will grace the cover of the Bulletin for the entire year. In addition, winning photos and a selection of all submitted photos will be shown on the ESC website, and used in Society-related social media posts.

Contest rules: Photos of insects and other arthropods in all stages, activities, and habitats are accepted. To represent the scope of entomological research, we also encourage photos of field plots, laboratory experiments, insect impacts, research activities, sampling equipment, etc. Photos should, however, have a clear entomological focus. Digital images must be submitted in unbordered, high-quality JPG format, with the long side (width or height) a minimum of 1500 pixels. Entrants may submit up to five photographs. A caption must be provided with each photo submitted; photos without captions will not be accepted. Captions should include the locality, subject identification as closely as is known, description of activity if the main subject is other than an insect (if appropriate), and any interesting or relevant information. Captions should be a maximum of 40 words. The entrant must be a member in good standing of the Entomological Society of Canada. Photos must be taken by the entrant, and the entrant must own the copyright. The copyright of the photo remains with the entrant, but royalty-free use must be granted to the ESC for inclusion on the cover of one volume (4 issues) of the Bulletin, and on the ESC website, and in various social media posts by the ESC (credited to the photographer, of course). Rather than a judging committee, this year the photo contest organizer will arrange for a popular choice judging website, where ESC members can vote on their favourites. Photographers of the top three photos chosen will be awarded the following prizes: 1st: $200 gift certificate for Henry’s Camera. 2nd: $100 gift card for Henry’s Camera. 3rd: $50 gift card for Henry’s Camera. Submission deadline is 15 September 2022. Entries should be submitted as an attachment to an email message; the subject line should start with “ESC Photo Contest Submission”. Send the email message to: photocontest@esc-sec.ca.

Dix-huitième concours annuel de photographies

Le 18e concours annuel de photographie visant à sélectionner des images pour la couverture du Bulletin de la Société d’entomologie du Canada pour 2023 est en cours. Les choses changent un peu, comme vous le verrez ci-dessous, mais ce qui est cool, c’est qu’il y aura des prix cette année! Les images de la couverture sont destinées à représenter l’étendue de l’entomologie couverte par les publications de la Société. Les images d’insectes et d’autres arthropodes en foresterie, en milieu urbain ou en agriculture; les paysages, le terrain, le laboratoire ou les gros plans; ou les activités associées à la physiologie, au comportement, à la taxonomie ou à la lutte intégrée sont toutes souhaitables. Nous avons également besoin de quelques « Insectes vedettes ». Si elle est sélectionnée, votre photographie fera la couverture du Bulletin pendant toute l’année. En outre, les photos gagnantes et une sélection de toutes les photos soumises seront présentées sur le site web de la SEC et utilisées dans les médias sociaux liés à la Société. Règlements du concours Les photographies d’insectes et autres arthropodes à tous les stades, dans toutes les activités et les habitats sont acceptées. Afin de représenter l’étendue de la recherche entomologique, nous encourageons également les photographies de parcelles de terrain, d’expériences de laboratoire, d’impacts d’insectes, d’activités de recherche, de matériel d’échantillonnage, etc. Les photographies doivent toutefois être clairement axées sur l’entomologie. Les images numériques doivent être soumises dans un format JPG de haute qualité, sans bordure, avec le grand côté (largeur ou hauteur) d’un minimum de 1500 pixels. Les participants peuvent soumettre jusqu’à cinq photos. Chaque photographie doit être accompagnée d’une légende. Les photographies sans légende ne seront pas acceptées. Les légendes doivent inclure la localité, l’identification du sujet dans la mesure où elle est connue, la description de l’activité si le sujet principal n’est pas un insecte, et toute information intéressante ou pertinente. Les légendes doivent comporter un maximum de 40 mots. Le participant doit être un membre en règle de la Société d’entomologie du Canada. Les photos doivent être prises par le participant et le participant doit en détenir les droits d’auteur. Le droit d’auteur de la photographie reste la propriété du participant, mais une utilisation libre de droits doit être accordée à la SEC pour être incluse sur la couverture d’un volume (4 numéros) du Bulletin, sur le site web de la SEC et dans divers médias sociaux de la SEC (avec mention du nom du ou de la photographe, bien sûr). Plutôt qu’un comité de jugement, l’organisation du concours de photographie prévoit cette année un site web de jugement par choix populaire, où les membres de la SEC pourront voter pour leurs favoris. Les photographes des trois meilleures photos choisies se verront attribuer les prix suivants : 1er prix – 200$ en carte-cadeau chez Henry’s Camera; 2e prix – 100$ en carte cadeau chez Henry’s Camera; 3e prix – 50$ en carte-cadeau de 50$ chez Henry’s Camera. La date limite de soumission est le 15 septembre 2022. Les soumissions doivent être envoyées en pièce jointe d’un courriel dont l’objet doit commencer par « Concours de photographie de la SEC ». Envoyez le courriel à : photocontest@esc-sec.ca.

Outsiders and Others is seeking visual artists from Canada and the United States who’s artwork is focused on wood boring insects, wood, and/or the relationship between wood boring insects and wood.

This exhibition being presented simultaneously with the Joint American and Canadian Entomological Society Meeting in Vancouver on November 13-16, 2022.

How to apply by email:

  1. Send up to 4 images of artwork to be considered for Images must be jpegs.
  2. Include a list that describes the images you are sending with the title, medium, and size of each
  3. Write a statement about yourself that includes your education, exhibition history, and why you were interested in applying to participate in this

E mail all your information to: outsidersandothers@gmail.com and put “Boring Art” in the subject line. Artists will be notified by email about the selection process results by October 7.

Other information:

  • Applications due Sept 30th
  • Exhibition dates are November 2-27, 2022
  • Self-taught artists will be given priority consideration for the exhibition as that is the focus of our organization.
  • The gallery retains a 25% commission on the sale of all
  • Artists are responsible for the cost of shipping the artwork to and from the gallery for the

Outsiders and Others is a non-profit arts Society with a focus on bringing non-traditional artists to the forefront. This includes outsider, folk, self-taught, visionary, intuitive, and artists with disabilities.

Our gallery is at 716 East Hastings Street in Vancouver and is open to the public Wed – Sat 11-4 and by appointment. We also have a window only gallery at #100-938 Howe Street.

Any questions? Feel free to contact Director / Curator Yuri Arajs at outsidersandothers@gmail.com or visit us online at www.outsidersandothers.com

 

On June 8th, we invite you to celebrate National Insect Appreciation Day (NAIAD) with thousands of insect enthusiasts, amateurs, and professionals all across Canada. We invite you to participate in the “insect picture challenge” on social media. This year, we invite professional entomologists to ‘lift a finger for insects’ by sharing their love of insects and arthropods with the public on social media by taking a picture or video of their species of study in their hand or on their finger. Share your love for insects!

In order to participate in the challenge, a person will have to post a least one picture of an insect during the National Insect Appreciation Day on June 8th. When posting the photo, the participant should include associated hashtags and nominate five friends by inviting them to also post an insect picture.

Hashtags: #InsectPictureChallenge #NationalinsectDay

How a hashtag works: A hashtag makes it possible for other users to easily find messages and post with a specific theme or content. Simply use the hashtag on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and make sure that your photograph is public.

For more information, and to download resource material, go to: https://esc-sec.ca/entomology-resources/naiad-national-insect-appreciation-day/

 Sponsored by the Entomological Society of Canada (https://esc-sec.ca/)

Extrait de « Dévorés », un roman de science-fiction entomologique post-apocalyptique qui paraîtra aux Éditions L’Interligne (Ottawa) le 7 février 2018. « Dévorés » est le premier roman de Charles-Étienne Ferland, candidat à la maîtrise en entomologie à l’Université de Guelph et cofondateur d’une jeune entreprise qui conçoit des applications mobiles utilisant les technologies d’apprentissage automatique pour identifier les insectes.

Dans les dix jours qui suivirent le début de l’invasion, les insectes privèrent l’Homme de tout moyen de subsistance. Ils paralysèrent le secteur agroalimentaire, sans toucher aux herbes ou aux arbres incomestibles.

Les projets de culture en serre hermétique, et ceux dans les grottes souterraines, furent autant d’échecs. Inexplicablement, l’insecte parvenait à s’infiltrer et à saccager les jeunes pousses. Les tentatives de transmettre un virus aux voraces ravageurs des cultures ou de les empoisonner au moyen de cristaux parasporaux de bacilles furent vaines. L’utilisation de cultivars transgéniques fit chou blanc. L’insecte n’était pas appâté par les attractifs alimentaires synthétiques, ni par des phéromones artificielles développées en vitesse. Il n’existait aucun ennemi naturel apparent.

Dehors, des avions survolaient les champs, pulvérisant à profusion de l’insecticide sur les guêpes insatiables poursuivant leur carnage. Malgré la menace, plusieurs groupes environnementaux manifestaient dans les rues. Ils étaient furieux d’assister, impuissants, à la destruction des écosystèmes, cinquante ans après la publication de Printemps silencieux écrit par la biologiste Rachel Carson. Dans les régions nordiques, on construisait des serres isolées. On aménageait des semi-remorques hydroponiques chauffées et éclairées. Malgré les protocoles de quarantaine, les guêpes y apparaissaient dès que les conditions devenaient adéquates pour cultiver. Leur propagation défiait toute logique.

Après la disparition de presque toute la nourriture, la plupart des populations animales d’élevage se mirent à décliner à l’instar de l’humanité. Nombreuses furent les familles qui partirent vers les côtes ou vers les régions riveraines. Les populations de poissons diminuaient au rythme extra-industriel de la surpêche. D’autres gens prirent la route du Nord ou des déserts. Plusieurs personnes et animaux moururent de faim.

Au cours d’une décade, des émeutes éclatèrent lorsque les supermarchés épuisèrent leurs stocks. Les hécatombes se multiplièrent. Le nombre de croisades égoïstes au nom de la faim grimpa en flèche. La situation donnait lieu à des luttes brutales et sanguinaires entre insurgés et forces armées. Tout cela pour les dernières conserves qui hantaient les étalages des magasins à grande surface.

Alors que la faim et la chaleur de l’été devenaient chaque jour un peu plus insupportables, que la Terre semblait tout indiquée pour devenir un désert stérile, la mutation se produisit. Une étrange cascade de transformations génétiques reprogrammant l’insecte. La guêpe adopta une nouvelle proie. Un seul et unique animal : l’Homo sapiens. Le jour de la mutation, la ville devint méconnaissable. De violentes secousses sismiques mirent à terre la moitié des bâtiments, des pylônes de lignes à haute tension et des arbres. Ce même jour, les guêpes femelles émergèrent du sous-sol. On aurait dit une version de l’insecte mâle aux dimensions décuplées. Des monstres capables de découper un homme en pièces. Tous ceux qui étaient à l’extérieur, en voiture, ou même un peu trop près d’une fenêtre au moment de l’émergence des femelles, furent condamnés. Ils se firent happer par les essaims si denses qu’on aurait dit qu’il s’agissait d’un seul et unique organisme, quelque Léviathan issu des Enfers. Les militaires déployés sur le terrain pour assurer un semblant d’ordre ouvrirent le feu. Les cibles étaient trop rapides, trop nombreuses. Les survivants se barricadèrent chez eux. D’autres se regroupèrent dans les souterrains du métro, un des rares endroits où les insectes anthropophages ne s’aventuraient pas depuis la mutation. Dès lors, l’être humain fut restreint à un mode de vie nocturne. Car dès que le soleil se levait, des nuées de guêpes affamées s’accaparaient les villes fantômes. Le jour leur appartenait. Et celui qui s’aventurait à l’extérieur lorsqu’il faisait clair était voué à un destin funeste, poignardé de dards comme César de dagues sur le Champ de Mars.

Peu à peu, les autorités se montrèrent plus discrètes jusqu’à ce que l’électricité, les médias, les services, les communications et l’économie devinrent des reliques d’avant la crise. Des vagues de maladies surgirent, exacerbées par les misérables conditions sanitaires quasi médiévales. Entre autres, la dysenterie et le choléra atteignirent bon nombre de survivants. Les fièvres et les infections affligèrent les enfants comme les adultes. Au début, on inhuma les défunts, puis on les brûla – ce qu’il restait d’eux après le festin des guêpes – par incinération massive durant la nuit. D’autres furent empilés dans des fosses communes jusqu’à ce qu’elles débordent et que les dépouilles gisent dans les rues. On ne se donna même plus la peine de s’approcher ensuite. On rompit le contrat social. Devant l’échec de la loi martiale, on renonça aux règles de société, désormais révolues, pour s’en remettre à une nouvelle loi : chacun pour soi. La loi de la jungle. Dans la ville, des bandes d’assassins, de pillards et de brigands se formèrent, prêtes à tout pour mettre la main sur des armes, de la nourriture, de l’essence ou des médicaments en terrorisant les camps de survivants. En voyant s’éroder les fondations de la civilisation, force était de constater qu’avec le ventre vide, l’homme retrouvait un instinct de survie des plus égoïstes.

Dans la métropole anarchique qui comptait désormais moins de dix mille âmes, Jack et Frank partageaient leur appartement avec Chad et Maddie. Il valait mieux se tenir à plusieurs. C’était plus sûr ainsi. Le groupuscule partageait un point commun. Aucun d’entre eux n’avait réussi à rejoindre les siens. La famille de Maddie demeurait en Europe. Les trajets transatlantiques, aériens comme maritimes – s’il y en avait encore –, étaient supposément réservés aux ambassadeurs, aux émissaires ou aux plus fortunés. Chad avait perdu ses proches dans les épidémies. Les centres de soins avaient été pris d’assaut et, sans antibiotiques, leurs chances de survie avaient chuté. La dernière fois que Jack avait eu des nouvelles de son père, de sa mère et de sa sœur, ils étaient en voilier sur les Grands Lacs. La famille avait mis le cap sur Main Duck Island, une petite île isolée et inhabitée baignant dans le lac Ontario, qui servait de colonie de pêche au début du 19e siècle. Des rumeurs circulaient à propos de havres épargnés par les insectes. « Pourvu que Main Duck n’ait pas été touchée. » Privé de moyen de communication, Jack n’en aurait le cœur net que s’il parvenait un jour à y poser le pied. Quant à Frank, même avant les évènements, il n’avait jamais été des plus volubiles au sujet de ses proches.

Au mois d’août, la civilisation d’avant l’infestation aurait aussi bien pu être un mythe, l’histoire d’un éden idyllique que l’on racontait aux enfants d’après les réminiscences des survivants. On entendait même parler d’une secte vénérant les guêpes. Des croyants extrémistes citaient les textes anciens, convaincus qu’il s’agissait d’une réédition augmentée de la huitième plaie d’Égypte. Un fléau divin prophétisé. L’apocalypse. La fin.

Le roman est disponible en librairie et sur amazon.
prayingmantis_main

PRAYING MANTIS Sterling silver, copper, 14K & 18K gold 18.5″l x 12″w x 9.5″h

 

We have featured the wonderful metalwork of Canadian artist Elizabeth Goluch before, in this awesome interview by Crystal Ernst. Now Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios has produced this wonderful video featuring Elizabeth, her inspiration and work. If you are fascinated by insects aesthetically, or have a love for metalwork and sculpture, this is a great introduction to the artistic process!
[vimeo 125539638 w=560 h=315]

Lady Bug from Breakwater Studios Ltd. on Vimeo.

bumblebee_main

BUMBLEBEE Sterling silver, 14K & 18K gold 7″l x 7″w x 4″h

 

By Staffan Lindgren, University of Northern BC and 2nd Vice President of the ESC

————–

A few weeks ago my most recently graduated Master’s student took a few days off to attend the UNBC convocation ceremony. Knowing her former supervisor’s fondness of red wine (which several of my other graduate students have magically discovered as well – go figure!), and no doubt well mentored in the important aspects of oenology by her entomologist father, she kindly presented me with a bottle of Idaho wine aptly named “Entomology”. The vineyard in question has a series of ‘ology’ wines, and appropriately, the importance of entomology has been recognized in this one. This welcome gift, along with other wines I had purchased solely because they had an insect on the label, caused me to ponder the connection between insects and wine. It should be added that apart from a long-standing preference of certain varieties of red wine, label design and price are pretty much my only criteria for selection of wines to purchase, as my olfactory senses have long been impaired after years of sinus infections.

Insects have had enormous significance in viticulture. Interestingly, pollinators do not appear to play a significant role, as the wine grape, Vitis vinifera L. (Vitaceae) is primarily wind pollinated. The negative impact of one insect on viticulture, on the other hand, provides for a fascinating story of applied interdisciplinarity, long before that concept became a fad. In an entomological detective story, elements of international politics, bureaucratic intrigue, the struggle between Darwinian evolution and creationism, invasive insect ecology, plant resistance, systematics, are interwoven like a movie script leading to the establishment of the fledgling discipline of economic entomology, with several entomologists the heroes (prominent among them Charles V. Riley) saving the damsel in distress (French viticulture) (Sorensen et al. 2008). I speak of course of the impact of the grape phylloxera, Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch) (Hemiptera: Phylloxeridae), an introduced insect from North America, on the French wine industry. At one point this little insect threatened the very existence of the industry, which at the time supported a sizeable portion of the French economy (Smith 1992, Sorensen et al. 2008). A simple Google Scholar search reveals that phylloxera remains a significant issue and is subject to continuing research worldwide (Granett et al. 2001). Corrie et al. (2002) even noted that phylloxera “is a viticultural pest that in the past has devastated vineyards worldwide, yet little is known about this insect’s biology”.

Apart from the “Entomology” wine, which I haven’t tasted yet, I have four other wines, falling in two categories. Two are organic wines, and have butterflies on the label, while the other two labels are adorned by ants. The descriptions below are from other sources, as my inferior olfactory system cannot do wines justice. Suffice it to say I like them all.

Five wines with labels adorned with insects. In today’s wine market, it seems that eye-catching labels are important competition tools. I wonder if entomophobic customers buy any of these?

Five wines with labels adorned with insects. In today’s wine market, it seems that eye-catching labels are important competition tools. I wonder if entomophobic customers buy any of these?

Nuevo Mundo Reserva Cabernet-Malbec represents the type of wine I enjoy with a “big bouquet of dark cherries and blackberry with hints of sweet spice on the palate” (hint to future students!).  The labels of all their wines have butterflies, no doubt signifying that it is an organic product and certified 100% carbon neutral. This wine is produced in the Maipo Valley, Chile, aged in French oak for a year, and sold for slightly under $16 in BC Liquor stores.

Domino de Punctum Lobetia is an organic Tempranillo wine produced by the Punctum Estate in La Mancha, Spain. It is described as having a “cherry colour with a violet shade indicating its youth. On the nose you’ll find fresh cherries and other red berries, with similar notes on the palate that shows moderate tannins”, and for $12.99 this is a very price-worthy wine.

Fabulous Ant is a Pinot Noir from Tolna, Hungary, which at $12.99 is a great buy. I have not been a fan of Pinot Noir, but I quite enjoy this wine described as having “cherry, strawberry and clove aromas on the nose and a silky, medium-bodied palate”. The label features an ant carrying a cherry, rather than a grape, perhaps indicating the predominance of cherry. This is a wine that I would not have picked as Hungary doesn’t strike me as a primary wine producing country, at least not of the types of wine I enjoy. However, this wine was awarded a Gold Medal at the Berlin Wine Show 2013, reflecting the emergence of yet another interesting wine producing region worth paying attention to.

Formiga de Vellut is a Carignan-Grenache-Syrah blend from the Priorat region in Spain, and is the most expensive of the wines I have chosen. At under $30 it is still worthy of a try by any entomologically inclined wine aficionado, however. I rarely spend that much on wine, but with ants on the label, how can I resist? It is described by Anthony Gismondi (http://www.gismondionwine.com/), who gave it a rating of 91 points, as a “spicy, floral, curry, black peppery, liquorice scented red.” He goes on to write: “Love the dry, supple palate and its smoky, peppery, black cherry jam and meaty, licorice and cedar flavours.” I agree with Mr. Gismondi (at least with respect to what I am able to perceive)!

Finally, the interesting Idaho wine Entomology. Produced by the Cold Springs Winery located halfway between Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, this is a Cabernet-Syrah blend which according to the vineyards own website is a medium bodied wine with red fruits and dried figs on the nose and blueberry on the palate. The label depicts a Polyphemus moth, which is described as a “pollinator moth”, so the entomology part may be a bit off target, but hey, if the wine is good we can live with some slight miscues.

There are obviously many other wines with an insect connection that I have not seen. I am hoping for suggestions in response to this blog post! Actual samples are welcome as well….

References cited

Corrie, A.M., R.H. Crozier, R. Van Heeswijck, and A.A. Hoffmann. 2002. Clonal reproduction and population genetic structure of grape phylloxera, Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, in Australia. Heredity 88: 203–211.

Granett, J., M.A. Walker, L. Kocsis, and A.D. Omer. 2001. Biology and management of grape Phylloxera. Annual Review of Entomology 46: 387-412.

Smith, E.H. 1992. The grape phylloxera. A celebration of its own. American Entomologist 38(4): 212-221.

Sorensen, W.C., E.H. Smith, J. Smith, and Y. Carton. 2008. Charles V. Riley, France and Phylloxera. American Entomologist 54(3): 134-149.

Par/by Guillaume Dury
_______________

Chaque année, la Société d’Entomologie du Québec organise un concours photos, afin de trouver les couvertures du bulletin de la société, intitulé Antennae.

Pour aller avec le thème de la conférence de cette année “Entomologie et agriculture biologique; de l’écologie à la pratique”, j’ai choisi le thème “formidable prédateurs à l’action”.

17 photos ont été soumises au total, et les trois gagnantes ont été choisies par vote populaire des conférenciers. Puisque j’était en charge du concours, j’ai décidé du système de vote. Chaque conférencier devait donner son choix de trois photos préférées. 3 points ont ensuite été attribués pour un premier choix, 2 pour le deuxième et 1 pour le troisième. Chaque photographe ne pouvait gagner qu’un des trois prix. Je suis heureux de présenter les photos gagnantes.
________________

Every year, the Entomological Society of Quebec organizes a photo contest to find cover photos for its bulletin, called Antennae.

To go along this year’s conference theme “Entomology and organic agriculture; from ecology to application” (my translation), the photo contest theme was “formidable predators in action”.

17 photos were submitted in total, and the three winners were chosen by popular vote of conference attendees. Since I was in charge of the contest, I got to decide the voting scheme. Each attendee was asked to give his first, second and third favourite photos. I then counted 3 points for each first choice, 2 points for second and 1 point for third. Each photographer was only allowed to win one prize. I’m happy to present the winning photos.

First

Première position/First Place: Julien Saguez

Second

Deuxième position/Second Place: Roxanne Bernard

Troisième position/Third Place: Julie-Éléonore Maisonhaute

Troisième position/Third Place: Julie-Éléonore Maisonhaute

Félicitation encore aux gagnants!

Congratulation again to the winners!

The results of the Eighth Annual ESC Photo Contest have been announced!  Judges Kirk Hillier, Kenna MacKenzie, and Rick West faced a difficult task, selecting the winners from among 67 high-quality entries.

The top seven selection will be printed on the cover of all issues of Volume 145 (2013) of The Canadian Entomologist.  The photos were chosen primarily for their composition and quality, but judges also tried to spread the winning entries across insect orders, and to have no more than one winning photo per photographer. The final results are:

First Place: Bob Lalonde, “Halictid on fireweed”. A female Agapostemon sp. (Halictidae), foraging on fireweed in June on the UBC Okanagan (Kelowna) campus.

Second Place: Ward Strong, “Stinkbug eggs”. Stinkbug eggs found on the foliage of lodgepole pine, Tappen BC.

Third Place: Julian Dupuis, “Papilio larva on Artemesia”. Larva of Papilio machaon dodi (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), on Artemesia dracunculus, near Drumheller, AB

Fourth Place: Crystal Ernst, “Stratiomys badia”. An impressive bee mimic, Stratiomys badia (Stratiomyidae) rests in a garden at dusk, in Chesterville, Ontario.

Fifth Place: John McLean, “Honeybee Drone pupae”. Late stage pupae of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. dissected as part of a search for breeding varroa mite (none found). Taken from a hive in the Gisborne area on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, March 2012.

Sixth Place: Tim Haye, “Pachycoris klugii nymphs”. Nymphs of Pachycoris klugii on Jatropha cucras tree (Tehuacan, Chiapas, Mexico).

Seventh Place: Christa Rigney, “Dakota Skipper on Yarrow”. A gravid female of the Threatened Dakota skipper, Hesperia dacotae (Skinner) (Hesperiidae) perched on Yarrow, Achillea millefolium (L.) (Asteracea) in a tallgrass prairie northeast of Deleau, Manitoba

A slideshow of all of the beautiful photographs entered in this year’s Competition is now displayed on the ESC Website, here. Congratulations to the winners!!!

If you missed this year’s competition, don’t fret! There is still time to submit your own images to another ESC-sponsored photo contest! ESC (or other regional society) members attending this year’s Joint Annual Meeting in Alberta have until October 30th to get their best shots of the year in to the judges of the 2012 JAM Photo Contest.

Thank you one and all for your participation, and keep those shutters clicking!

Many of us appreciate insects, spiders and other arthropods for more than just their scientific, biological or ecological value: they also have an aesthetic that some of us find irresistible, inspiring us to capture them in photographs or in paintings rather than sweep nets or aspirators.

For this special feature, we interviewed Elizabeth Goluch, a Halifax artist, and asked her about her breathtaking insect sculptures.

PRAYING MANTIS
Sterling silver, copper, 14K & 18K gold
18.5″l x 12″w x 9.5″h

ESCBlog: Please tell us a little bit about your background – where you grew up, when you started doing art, where you did your formal training.

EG: I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario.  I have been making drawings and objects for as long as I can remember.

I took summer drawing classes at the University of Western Ontario, after which I acquired my BFA in 1976 at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.  However, my major was in Painting.  Much later, around 1997, I learned to solder by taking continuing education classes at NSCAD.  I also became a member of the Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia which is a Guild in the traditional sense.  If you wish to learn a certain skill, you have only to ask and another member will provide the help that you need.  Over time, I enrolled in several summer sessions at Haystack Mountain School of Craft thereby acquiring additional metalsmithing skills.  So I would have to say that I have had little formal training in working with metal and am, for the most part, self-taught.

ESCBlog: Why insects? Have you always been interested in insects as subjects for your art?

EG: Insects have always attracted me.  As a child I collected and examined dead insects, seeing them as objects of beauty.  An early memory is one of drawing page after page of spiders which gave me a great sense of satisfaction.

TARANTULA
Sterling silver, 14k & 18k gold, tourmaline
7.25″l x 8″w x 2.25″h

ESCBlog: Most of your sculptures have movable parts; many contain hidden trinkets that can be removed and even worn as jewellery.  Tell us about this choice to include interactive components.

EG: When I first began to make metal insect sculptures, I concentrated on the insect form.  Over time, I realized that I wanted to add another dimension to each sculpture which resulted in the secret compartments containing hidden treasure.

ESCBlog: Although your pieces are incredibly lifelike, they also include many whimsical elements (a children’s poem enacted in a lady beetle) and often embrace word-play (e.g., the violin beetle).  Tell us about your choice to blend the realistic with the fantastical.

EG: As my work has grown I have come to realize that, as much as I enjoy accuracy in building the body parts of each insect, I am also interested in telling the story of the insect.  This is accomplished by including information about the insect’s life, lore and environment in the decorative details and secret spaces, increasingly important elements of each work.

ESCBlog: Insects are so often portrayed as something dark and sinister – something to fear. Your work, however turns insects and spiders into precious things made of gold, silver, pearls and gemstones. Can you talk a bit about your choice of materials in your pieces?

EG: Conversely, I have always seen insects as living jewels. However, I enjoy the combination of fear and attraction engendered in the viewer by the juxtaposition of the subject matter (insects) and the richness of the materials used (gold, silver, gemstones) in the making of the object.

ESCBlog: You’ve tackled many different types of insects, and even arachnids, in your work. Is there anything you haven’t attempted to sculpt yet that you’d like to?

EG: There are so many insects in the world that I can’t imagine ever running out of options for the next piece.

(However, I must confess that after repeated requests, I recently completed a commission that was not an insect.  I made a Snail which turned out to be one of the most complex pieces that I have made to date.  It will appear on my website in the near future.)

ESCBlog: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, why is it your favorite?

EG: I can’t say that I have one favourite piece.  What I will say is that I enjoy the increasing complexity of story and detail incorporated in each new piece.

LADYBUG
sterling silver, 18k gold, garnets, enamel, ceramit
4.75″l x 3.75″w x 2″h

ESCBlog: Can people purchase the work your have shown on your website? Do you ever do commissioned pieces?

EG: Much of the work on my website has been sold or was a commissioned piece.  I have, on occasion, made a second or third version of one insect (Dragonfly, LadyBug). However, no two pieces are ever the same, each differing in size, details and story.

ESCBlog: Is there anything else we should know about you or your work?

EG: I have won numerous awards including Finalist for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, the Frank Phillips Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship,  Best in Show in many Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia Competitions/Exhibitions, grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and from the Canada Council for the Arts.

My work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2009 Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea where Canada was invited as the guest country, the Cultural Olympiad in the Museum of Vancouver BC to coincide with the 2010 Olympics, Cesky Krumlov in the Wenceslas Cellars of the State Castle of the Czech Republic, SOFA New York and the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax NS.  One of my works was included in the Metal Arts Guild of Canada Exhibition in Print 2011 curated by Gloria Hickey.

My sculptures can be found in public and private collections in Canada, the USA, Denmark, Australia, Turkey and Hong Kong.

I have given lectures in Halifax at the Joint Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Entomological Society & the Acadian Entomological Society and at NSCAD, in South Korea at the 2009 Cheongju International Biennale, in New York at SOFA, and in Cornwall ON as the keynote speaker at the Artpreneur Conference.

I sit on the Exhibition Review Committee of the Mary E. Black Gallery Halifax NS and on the Standards Committee of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council.

ESCBlog: Where can we go to see some of your work?

EG: My work will be included in upcoming exhibitions at the Mary E. Black Gallery Halifax NS and at The Rooms Provincial Gallery in St. John’s NL, both of which will subsequently travel across Canada.

I am in the Studio Rally Map and will participate in the upcoming Studio Rally Weekend.
Dates:  Saturday September 29th and Sunday September 30th
Hours:  10:00 am to 5:00 pm – by chance or appointment
more info:  www.StudioRally.ca

BUMBLEBEE
Sterling silver, 14K & 18K gold
7″l x 7″w x 4″h

If you’d like to reach Elizabeth, here is her contact information:
Website:  www.elizabethgoluch.com
email:  e@elizabethgoluch.com
Representation:  Mobilia Gallery,Cambridge/Boston MA.

Availability in Halifax:  my Studio – 6913 Tupper Grove, Halifax, NS.

Visitors & commissions welcome.
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Do you know any other incredible Canadian artists who feature insects in their work? We’d love to hear about it?