“To Bee or Not To Bee”

Fine Line Designs Gallery’s final show of 2023 features works celebrating the natural world

The season is coming to a close at Fine Line Designs Gallery in Ephraim, with their final exhibit of the year including oil paintings by Kristy Goggio.

Goggio said Fine Line is one of her favorite places to “hang” her oil paintings, with the gallery’s gardens a great background for her primary subject matter this season: honeybees and Mother Nature. 

Goggio has kept bees for 14 years at her home in Oconomowoc, and said she wants her work to highlight how essential bees are to the earth’s ecosystem. She said bees have been a catalyst for learning about other aspects of nature, as well as adding other natural elements to her work.  

“I have such a respect for them,” Goggio said,  “which links me to more respect for other things that are in the natural world. I guess my respect for them kind of also makes me want to research more and not just about honeybees, but all kinds of things.” 

Also anchoring much of her art is a stoic depiction of Mother Nature. Goggio said her Mother Nature paintings are some of her most popular, offering viewers a sense of serenity. 

“I describe her as not a depiction of a woman, not a portrait of a woman, but my symbolization of Mother Nature,” Goggio said. “ I also put her in a very specific pose for specific reasons: broad shoulders to show the strength of Mother Nature. She’s surrounded by flowers and greenery, the delicate side of nature, and pollinators, the living side of nature.” 

Storytelling is a key part of Goggio’s process – she typically comes up with the title of a piece before she even starts working on it. She described the story of one of her pieces, titled “To Bee or Not To Bee,” as a visualization of the earth without bees, going from green and bright, to gray and lifeless. 

“There’s always a theme, always a story, everything I paint is about something specific,” Goggio said. “It’s not just left to chance.” 

Goggio’s work, as well as fiber arts from Sue Benner and watercolors from Michael Ireland, will be featured at Fine Line until Sept. 19.