“The True Cost of Coal” Artwork by the Beehive Design Collective

Innovative and detailed graphic is a visual exploration of the life cycle of coal as an energy source; artists will tie artwork to local energy issues in Central Illinois.

WHAT: One day exhibit of Beehive Design Collective work entitled “The True Cost of Coal,” including an artist-led discussion of the piece.

Two years in the making, “The True Cost of Coal” is an elaborate narrative illustration that explores the complex story of mountaintop removal coal mining and the broader impacts of coal in Appalachia and beyond. The image is the culmination of an intensive and collaborative research process, as the Beehive Design Collective methodology centers on first hand story-sharing. To create the poster, the Beehive interviewed hundreds of community members throughout the Appalachia region. These exchanges of inspiration and information were collaboratively woven together into a tapestry of hand-illustrated graphics, designed to strengthen and support genuine dialogue, critical reflection, and strategic action in defense of the Appalachians Mountains and the cultural and biological diversity they nurture.

In their interactive picture-lectures, the Bees will lead the audience through an engaging, larger-than-life banner version of the graphic, interweaving anecdotes, statistics, and history. With help from local Champaign and Vermilion County area groups currently focused on energy and coal issues, the Collective will then discuss how the same issues portrayed in the piece are playing out right here in East Central Illinois.

This exhibit is part of a nation-wide tour, of which Urbana is one of only two towns in Illinois where the Beehive Design Collective will be stopping. For more information on the Collective or to view the graphics, visit www.beehivecollective.org.

WHO: Beehive Design Collective – a volunteer-driven artist collective that uses graphical media as educational tools to communicate stories of complex political and social issues. The collective is from Machias Valley, Maine and has been in operation since 2000.

Heartland Coalfield Alliance -- movement of community groups, students and nonprofits in Illinois, Indiana and western Kentucky advocating for communities who bear the burden of our reliance on coal. For more information, visit http://heartlandcoalfieldalliance.org/

Prairie Rivers Network -- Illinois' advocate for clean water and healthy rivers. For more information, visit http://prairierivers.org/

Sierra Club Prairie Group -- the east-central Illinois group of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservation organization. For more information, visit http://illinois.sierraclub.org/prairie/.

Stand Up to Coal – residents, landowners and farmers in Champaign and Vermilion Counties dedicated to educating community members about the negative effects that a proposed coal mine could have on land, water and health. For more information, visit http://www.standuptocoal.org

WHERE: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St.

WHEN: Sunday, February 16th, 4:00 – 6:00 P.M.

mountaintop removal

Is there any alternative source for metallurgical (non-thermal) grade coking coal? I mean, recycling and mini-mills only take you so far. At some point, and for certain alloys, you need virgin steel. Petro-coke might be an option, but there are impurities.

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