Showcasing the work of 20 exceptional artists from across New England, ReSeeding the City: Ethnobotany in the Urban opens to the public this fall in the historic State House. The special exhibition, curated by Judith Tolnick Champa, was developed under the aegis of the Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art for The Year of the City: The Providence Project. The Rhode Island People’s House is a just-right, civic-minded site for this contemporary project. Through their work, artists refresh and “re-seed” our perception of urban life – particularly through plants. How might we strike sustainable balance in our environment? they ask, as they ponder our ecosystems curiously yet carefully, and ever-creatively.
The art exposes a range of imaginative responses to the often-contending forces of people and plants in the urban setting. The exhibition is launched by an inaugural forum, both components overseen by Jennifer Dalton Vincent of Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth.
The forum at Brown University, organized by Sam Coren, Aja Grande, and Alexandra M. Picker, offers space for art and science to inspire activism, policy, and planning. Distinguished speakers – invited artists, academics, and community practitioners from New England and beyond – join with RI residents to re-envision the urban as a hub of more-than-human social worlds; the forum looks to plants as models, metaphors, and partners in urban placemaking. It explores what it means to hold tightly to the rich assemblage of life forms that take root in our midst – in gardens to roadside margins.
ReSeeding the City: Ethnobotany in the Urban
Exhibition runs October 25-November 27 in the Rhode Island State House Lower Level Gallery | 82 Smith Street
Forum on October 26, 9:30am-5pm in Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs in Stephen Robert ’62 Hall | 280 Brook Street
State House Reception on October 26, 5:30-8pm | 82 Smith Street