OPEN CALL: PANDEMIC GARDENS
Online Exhibition hosted by Embassy Cultural House
Organized by Rachel A. MacGillivray and Ron Benner with the assistance of
Jamelie Hassan, Olivia Mossuto and JoAnna Weil
Deadline: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Live: January 2022
When the world went into lockdown last March, so did my creative brain. I hit a wall in my studio practice that was so thick and heavy I couldn’t even pick up my materials, and nothing I had been making felt important anymore. The only place I came alive was in my garden. Planting gave me purpose, seeds shooting up gave me hope, pulling weeds and clearing land helped me step outside of my worries. We spent 5 months in isolation with our toddler son and most of that time was spent together, planning and tending our gardens – it’s how we survived the separation, anxiety, and pressure. It’s the thing that got us through and we’re not the only ones. Now, it’s time to share our gardens.
Whether your experience was painting fantasy gardens while in lockdown, visiting public green spaces, taking care of a beloved house plant, containers on your balcony, or working in your own garden - tending vegetables, flowers, or weeds - we want to share your experience. Let’s recognize and acknowledge these connections with the natural world.
- Rachel A. MacGillivray, July 28, 2021
I am reminded of an exhibition that Jamelie and I did in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2013 about the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, titled The World is a Garden Whose Walls are the State. The title was inspired by a quote from Ibn Khaldun's The Muqaddimah (1377 AD) which was one of the first universal histories of the world…now, the world is a garden whose walls are the pandemic.
- Ron Benner, July 28, 2021
Please submit an image of your pandemic garden experience and include a short statement about the location, date, and your relationship/connection/experience to and with the “garden” during the pandemic.
Deadline for your contribution: September 7, 2021
Image size: 300 dpi, no smaller than 800 pixels on the shortest side.
An artist fee of $30.00 will be paid for each digital contribution.
For questions about the exhibition, email:
Photo Credit: Rachel A. MacGillivray, In the Garden, 2020
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