Our annual public art exhibit in the Queens Botanical Garden is one month away! In the meantime, you can learn more about our 2022 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellows below. These include M.E. Guadalupe Rubi, Sherwin Banfield, Carlos Wilfredo, Yiyi Wei and Ruth Jeyaveeran. They will each present a public work in the Queens Botanical Garden this summer for the AnkhLave Garden Project’s public art exhibition, curated by previous AGP Fellow, Cecilia André. They will create work under the theme “Amplify” that will be on display at the Queens Botanical Garden mid-June through September! For updates on the project, visit our website: www.AnkhLave.org
My idea for this "Amplify" open call is titled: 'Botanical Boombox'. Botanical Boombox is an outdoor sculpture that is a small scale Greenhouse in the form of Boombox sitting atop a concrete and wooden pedestal. The Boombox is made of a steel box frame with clear resin faced panels shaped like a boombox (See my current public sculpture 'Going Back to the Meadows' for resin Boombox example). All sides of this Botanical Boombox will be clear resin, including the roof top design. Inside this Boombox will be planted a series of plants and flowers that symbolize the voice of voiceless that sprouted from the concrete of tough neighborhood and low income housing within Queens (Queensbridge LIC, St. Albans and Hollis Jamaica Queens). The Boombox symbolizes the Amplification of these voices that used music and Hip Hop culture to talk about personal and community issues growing up in their respective neighborhoods. This boombox is a symbol for hope and emergence of young BIPOC communities that used their voice to announce their conditions resulting in the growth of the most popular form of musical expression in the history of the world, Hip Hop. These flowers, each personal stories of individuals, with support from family, friends and community (sun, water and attention) grew and bloomed out of concrete, attracting worms to butterflies, listeners and viewers while connecting communities globally. Reminds me of the proverb, out of a muddy pond 10,000 flowers bloom. The supporting Gallery exhibition will be photographs of flowers and plants in the respective neighborhoods.
M.E. Guadalupe Rubi
My artistic practice centers around the themes of mixed blood, and the body as a consequence of duality and thousands of generations of conflicting story. The European and Indigenous blood, the lines of red from those who have conquered and for those who have been the bounty of conquest, birth a new creation. Mammal skulls, living plants, fiber, and textiles is at the center of my work and a manifestation of a journey to find home and create a narrative focused on reclaiming memory. I am inspired by craft studies and connecting with the past is manifested in my pursuit to be continuously learning new methods and processes rooted in a traditional approach. My desire to create does not come solely from own person, but the passing of blood memory from one generation to the next and my desire to quell the heat that lies beneath the surface of my skin. I feel my ghosts and use them to tell my stories, so that I may understand how to speak the truths of my ancestors and create work that manifests their voices back into existence.
Ruth Jeyaveeran: My practice exists at the intersection of art, craft, and design. I work with wool to examine our relationship to the unseen objects we use and interact with every day. I’m interested in the many ways textiles are inextricably linked with human history, technology, and culture but remain a mystery to most of us. My goal is to place these materials traditionally associated with the domestic, decorative, functional, and feminine in a new context. My process celebrates the repetitive motion of making as a therapeutic experience. I aim to create a meditative space, a way to slow down and connect with older traditions as well as my own body. Felting is tactile, hands-on work. Wool is primal, spiritual, connected to nature and a source of warmth and shelter. In the final stages of the felting process, I rub the fiber between my fingers, coaxing the newly formed textile into shape. This felt “skin” is pliable and flexible, a fertile ground that can be embedded with objects, built up or carved into. Recurrent themes in my work focus on the body, the environment, and our broken connection to nature. What Came Before, an installation of soft sculptures, explores the interconnectedness of objects in the material world. Presented in a “reverse taxonomy” these “artifacts” evoke archaeology, natural history, and the sea, which hews all things down to their essence. The organic and utilitarian forms are made out of wool and connected by yarn emphasizing our shared history and shared fate with the natural world.
I create paintings, drawings, collage and mixed media artworks using imagery from tropical flora and Puerto Rican pre-colonial and craft arts. I use biomorphic patterns to construct visual imaginary connections between my motherland’s nature, my ancestors and myself while exploring complexities of my nostalgia, dislocation, and 'diasporican' experiences. In my practice I mediate with my identities as a Puerto Rican, rural, gay, introvert, Caribbean and spiritual man. My attempt is for them to coexist. It is an exercise in which I understand myself in relation to issues of belongingness by exploring and redefining ways of connection with myself and with my environment.
My work is an ongoing exercise in perceiving the ecology of being. I explore and draw inspiration from the connections between entities in both physical and metaphysical conceptions of space. I examine these connections by looking closely at ‘intra-actions’ between human and non-human entities in a network of existence. The relationship between each individual in the network is constantly in flux. By looking for a poetic space of inter-connections transpired by interactions, I hope to acknowledge the complexity of the world we inhabit across time and culture and reveal the elegance of this entangled system of life. Writing, performance, and participatory act are used to conduct the concept of my installations, which are developed through experimentations with material phenomenons and explorations of human histories. For the past years, I have created interactive and performative installations exploring a range of research from endangered plant species to sugar blowing; from growing fractals to a smell that is not a scent. Currently, I am diving into the universe of microorganisms as a continuous attempt to articulate the fleeting moments in this poetic, ‘messy’ ecological network. New projects I am researching and experimenting with are, for instance, the hand-blown glass Scent Catchers exploring human’s olfactory system, memory, and the environment; The text and textile Underside Poems thinking about roots, mesofaunas, and mycorrhizal fungi that live under the soil, which plays an essential role in the ecology; and inspired by traditional Chinese textiles, weaving endangered peatland creatures as totems of protection.
AnkhLave is excited to have selected 2 AnkhLave Artists presenting painted tables at the Around The Table exhibition, which was facilitated by and will take place in the New York Botanical Garden! AnkhLave Director Dario Mohr served on the advisory board for this exhibition that will unveil June 4th. These artists include current AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow, Carlos Wilfredo and AnkhLave Artist Noble Dre Ali.
AnkhLave presents BIPOC artists working in public art in predominantly BIPOC neighborhoods, and have presented public work in partnership with the Manhattan Land Trust, the Queens Botanical Garden and are excited to now include the Bronx borough through our partnership with NYBG! The Around The Table exhibition is an amazing NYBG program that is set to provide Bronx based artists with tables that tell their cultural and culinary food stories and recipes through the artwork they create on them. Audience members are encouraged to take a seat at their tables and embrace these stories.
All visitors must follow Local Project / Flux Factory COVID safety protocol – vaccines will be checked at the door. Local Project is fully ADA accessible.
Curated by Teri Henderson, Dario Mohr and Haiba Hamilton
Works on View from January 19 – February 19 2022, with gallery hours Saturdays between 12:30 and 4:30pm and Thursdays between 3:30 and 6:30pm
For The Public represents the physical manifestation of the artist’s desire to not just create, but to exhibit work that calls to be experienced by the public. As a pandemic struck the world, we all continued to exist, work and create. Artists of color have historically sustained a creative practice through tumultuous and uncertain times. The creative practice and resulting work serves as a method of self care and expression, as well as a source of inspiration for the audience. This exhibition represents the space for these artists to allow their ideas and works to emerge in the physical exhibition realm once again.
For the Public is the culminating exhibition of the 2021 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellowship. The AnkhLave Garden Project is an annual fellowship where artists present public work at the Queens Botanical Garden. The five fellows will each present one work as a sister piece to work created for the between June and September 2021 garden project cohort.
Join us for a performance as part of the For The Public group exhibition at Local Project. Black Bodies is a Poetic dive into the Black experience, and an exploration of our most vulnerable parts. The work includes portraits with written poems, as well as a performance of “Slave Black” a spoken word piece. See full details about the For The Public exhibition.
Showcasing the “Griot Sé/Mwen’s Beyonsense (National An/dem in Kwenglish)” Banner and “Henry Brown’s Speakerboxxxez (Blue(s)Prints Series)” Banner, the artist will lead an iteration of my Natural An/Dems Workshop, inviting attendees to partake in a collaborative writing exchange and reading performance, treating poetry as a form of currency, a “meant” instead of a “mint,” where we exchange meaning. The end of the workshop will result in a collective “poetry bank” piece.
The Next Event is about James Lee Mass, a failed author living in Long Island, New York during the year 1985. Mass lost his nine-year-old daughter, Ava, due to pneumonia. Unable to cope with this loss, James’ personal and professional life deteriorates. He passively watches the dissolution of his marriage as he is incapable of picking up the pieces. With slowing book sales, and the lack of will to create anything new, he quickly finds himself spiraling into a deep depression with thoughts of suicide. James Lee Mass is a dark and deeply complex character, and throughout the play he addresses the emotional battles that some people fight within themselves everyday.
Our AnkhLave Curator in Residence, Cecilia André was a 2020 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow, and has since participated in the New York Artists Equity Curatorial Residency, and curated 3 shows for New York Artists Circle. These include Only If We Wish To at Equity Gallery as well as SCALE parts 1 and 2. Special congratulations to Cecilia for a successful closing of Scale part 2, which took place April
Cecilia selected the 2022 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellows and will curate their work at the Queens Botanical Garden and the culminating art exhibit at the end of the year.
Special congrats to Cecilia for the successful closing of her curated exhibition with New York Artist Circle, Scale part 2, which took place April 3rd!
Congrats to 2020 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow, Natali Bravo-Barbee for her solo show "Flores de Femicidio" at ChaShaMa! You can read a write up about it in Up the Anti HERE!
Artist Ayana Evans is partnering with the Weeksville Heritage Center to host a career fair / networking event next Saturday, April 9th. Sponsored in part by the Jerome Foundation's Artists Fellowship. RSVPHERE.
We are excited to introduce our first AnkhLave Curator in Residence, Cecilia André. Cecilia was a 2020 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow, and has since participated in the New York Artists Equity Curatorial Residency, and curated 3 shows for New York Artists Circle. These include SCALE parts 1 and 2, followed by Only If We Wish To at Equity Gallery.
She will have a hand in selecting the 2022 AnkhLave Garden Project Fellows, as well as curating their work at the Queens Botanical Garden and the culminating art exhibit at the end of the year. New Fellows will be announced soon!
Congrats to the AnkhLave Garden Project Fellows for presenting their culminating art exhibit at Local Project. AnkhLave presented this event in collaboration with Rhizome Project and Flux Factory. This was curated by Teri Henderson, Dario Mohr and Haiba Hamilton. Below are some stills from the show!
Dennis Redmoon Darkeem's work “The Land Acknowledgment Flags” and “Keepers of the Four Winds” in the Queens Botanical Garden.
Akemi Takeda’s work at the culminating AnkhLave Garden Project show “For the Public” inspired by her work, "In Memory Of..." created at @artinoddplaces (in collaboration with Angela Miskis and Dario Mohr)
Special thanks to the four additional artists who presented performances and workshops throughout the For The Public show. This includes Rebecca KellyG, Zania Cummings, Sherese Francis and Robert Wallace.
AnkhLave is excited to have selected 2 AnkhLave Artists presenting painted tables at the Around The Table exhibition, which was facilitated by and will take place in the New York Botanical Garden! These artists include current AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow, Carlos Wilfredo and AnkhLave Artist Noble Dre Ali.
AnkhLave Artist, Noble Dre Ali's table: Grandma Ruth's Bountiful Garden is now on view at the New York Botanical Garden. This can be viewed through augmented reality.
AnkhLave Artist, Carlos Wilfredo's table: Mancha'os is now on view at the New York Botanical Garden.