Press Release: Uncultivated

Lynn Cazabon’s Uncultivated commences on June 3, 2014

Press Contact: Agustina Bullrich, abullrich@inclimate.org

As the inaugural project of inClimate: Climate Change Solutions, Awareness and Action, artist Lynn Cazabon is coming to the South Bronx on June 3, with her Uncultivated, focusing on the wild plants, aka weeds, of Hunts Point.

Cazabon’s Uncultivated is one of seven projects in inClimate, a citywide exhibition that confronts global warming through art. It calls upon artists, in collaboration with climate change specialists, to find solutions and antidotes for mitigating or adapting to our world’s most catastrophic problem. inClimate’s aim is to see the artworks, together with accompanying events, encourage and embolden new and veteran local leaders and community members to build widespread grassroots action on global warming.

Over the period, from June through May 2015, inClimate artists will present work in low-income neighborhoods in three boroughs of New York City—Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. In each case, inClimate is partnering with a not-for-profit community organization or a public school. Curator and organizer Regina Cornwell conceived inClimate, which is presented under the auspices of Franklin Furnace.

The Point is inClimate’s partner for Uncultivated. Cazabon and horticulturalist Christa Partain will lead a workshop with a dozen third, fourth and fifth grade children from The Point’s after school program. The workshop will include lessons on biology, botany, horticulture and climate change, with the focus on edible weeds. The result: creation of a weed garden, composed of edible wild plants that readily grow in the local environment. The youngsters will discover how the plants they thought of as useless were, in their early incarnations, cherished as staple greens for indigenous and immigrant populations, and how, in the face of climate change, they are again becoming welcomed and respected plants.

In her own words, the artist gives us clear insights into Uncultivated: “The focus of my work over the past decade has been on the side effects of human progress, which includes aspects of nature deemed expendable. Uncultivated is focused on plants that are the rats of the plant-world: they are reviled. I consider them to be the shadow of human progress…these plants thrive on the disruption which humans create. In that way, they are the plants that are most like us — they thrive with us and alongside us….”

Cazabon’s project will also include a photographic survey of the wild plants growing in and around the neighborhood of The Point, especially the area circling Bryant Hill Community Garden—where the beds of local edible weeds will be cultivated–located on Bryant Avenue between Garrison and Seneca Avenues. The artist will add selected images to her ongoing project website for Uncultivated (http://uncultivated.info) along with information on all the plants appearing in her photographs. She will also disseminate the project through commercial displays such as billboards and bus shelter vitrines and on social media platforms.

Uncultivated is an on-going project which Cazabon began in Baltimore in 2010, and has continued in other cities, including Washington, D.C., Chicago and New Orleans. However, this is the first time she has included a workshop with a community and follow-through with a meal made with the community for its members from the harvested wild plants. Panels and other events planned with the community on Uncultivated and climate change will follow with dates posted later.

When and Where:

Visit the Bryant Hill Community Garden in Hunts Point as artist Lynn Cazabon and horticulturalist Christa Partain, lead a workshop with children from the after school program at The Point! Come and listen in on the workshop from 4:30 to 6:30, June 3, 4 and 5. We will meet at The Point, 940 Garrison, at 4:20, on each day.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1:00 to 5:00, June through August, watch the plants grow at Bryant Hill. Come see what the kids are cultivating and caring for as they learn about these plants and what place they have within the mounting disasters of climate change.

To arrange your weekend visit to the garden call Lucia Hernandez at 646-232-7132. She will open the gate and direct you to the beds of wild plants we can now call by their real names.

Franklin Furnace gratefully acknowledges support for inClimate from The Compton Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; and the National Endowment for the Arts.