Public art display of giant bee sculptures creating buzz in Medina

MEDINA, Ohio - A swarm of giant bees is landing in Medina and the town is all abuzz. There is not a concern of getting stung, but people are starting to stare as the sightings increase.

The city is busy as a beehive at it prepares for a unique public art display featuring bees made out of polyurethane.

Borrowing an idea from Chicago's cows, Cincinnati's pigs and Cleveland's guitars, Medina will feature at least 20 bee sculptures designed and painted by local artists. Each creation is 5-by-3-foot and is three-dimensional.

Some of the 65-pound bees were unveiled last Saturday to community members at Root Candle.

"They're very colorful. They're all very different. This has really become a community project," said Jeanne Hurt, director of community relations for Medina City Schools.

Root Candle and Medina Hospital gave $5,000 to serve as the co-title sponsors of the project. Other companies and organizations are paying between $1,250 and $2,500 to sponsor a bee and have it placed in front of their business for three months.

Hurt expects the art display will raise $10,000 for the Medina City School Foundation, which is separate from the Medina City School District.

"They fund our tutoring center at Medina High School. The provide classroom grants for our children in the classroom," she added.

Haley Wasserman, a high school junior, designed a bee for Sandridge Foods. It has a chef's hat and carries a spoon.

"Sandridge wanted a bee that was fresh and expressed their culinary aspect of the company and showed that everything is homegrown," Wasserman said.

Emily Costello, a high school sophomore, painted a bee for the Medina Soccer Association. The bee's nose is a soccer ball.

"We wanted it be youthful and colorful and people to just look at it and know it's the soccer bee," Costello said.

Five of the bees will be on display this weekend at the International Festival on Medina's square. Others will be in position at Westfield Bank, Medina Hospital and Root Candle.

Some of the bees still need to be painted and will go on display throughout the fall.

In November, some of the sculptures will be auctioned during a fundraiser for the Medina City Schools Foundation.

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