Expanding the Biennial legacy by cultivating capacity for its sustainability, Providence Curates informs and strengthens curatorial practice. Three exhorting verbs rally partners and audience growth, summon change by igniting collaboration, and invite an emerging generation to realize its social justice commitments through dynamic art encounters.
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Funding from late fall, 2021- early summer, 2022 is provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through the Rhode Island Culture, Humanities, and Arts Recovery Grant (RI CHARG) program. This program was made possible thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, via funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
The curated exhibition sparks new awareness of the never latent, yet often unrecognized, interconnections between nature and urban life, providing special attention to botanical nature’s many guises, roles and responsible cultivation.
Nuanced works, created by a large selection of contemporary artists practicing in Rhode Island and beyond, highlight a fascination with plants and other species. At times they posit a relationship of impasse regarding nature in the urban, at others, ways of reaching productive reconciliation.
The sense of argument inherent in the art shown is resonant with the historic venue of the State House—the Rhode Island people’s house—our fundamental civic site for re-seeding this productive debate.
The exhibition was launched by a one-day public forum of the same name on Saturday, October 26 at Brown University, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. The forum venue is the Agora of Stephen Robert '62 Hall, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University, 280 Brook Street, Providence.
The socially engaged program brought together various distinguished practitioners and residents to re-imagine the urban as a hub of more-than-human social worlds. It creates a space in which art and science might inspire activism, policy, and planning. The ReSeeding the City forum looks to plants as models, metaphors, and partners in urban placemaking, exploring what it means to embrace the rich assemblages of life forms that take root in our midst—whether in gardens, wood patches, brownfields or roadside margins.
The forum was organized by Sam Coren, PhD student, American Studies, Brown University, Aja Grande, PhD student, History, Anthropology, Science, Technology & Society (HASTS), MIT, and Alexandra M. Peck, PhD candidate, Anthropology, Brown University.
Invited speakers from across New England and New York participated in the program, after which the audience is invited to the Opening Reception for the exhibition, to take place at the State House from 5:30 – 8:00 pm.