Using the theme of “Seeds to Food,” an exhibition titled “SEED 4” will connect artists, gallery visitors, students, educators, local farmers and an international online audience to “important regional and global seed issues as an ongoing forum,” according to a press release from Mandy Stapleford, one of the organizers and participating artists.
The show will open with a reception Saturday (Oct. 6), 5-8 p.m., at the Stables Gallery of the Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. A closing reception is scheduled for Oct. 28 from 3-6 p.m.
Admission to both and to the ongoing show is free.
“My fascination with the seed began when I was 8 years old,” artist Peter Chinni is quoted in the release. “The inspiration for most of my work is born from the following sources: Experience, meditation on the seed and the opportunities to live in diverse climates in several countries.”
Chinni is an internationally known artist who will be exhibiting bronze sculpture and drawings.
The show is described in the release as “a creative art exhibition and parallel education project focused on the miracle of seeds and their global importance.” It exists to “create increased awareness of the local ecosystems, the foods we eat, and the perils faced by the planet due to loss of biodiversity. ‘SEED’ is a creative venue for exploration, imagination and expression for all learners, of all ages.”
For local artist Gretchen Ewert, inspiration “started with a large color etching, ‘Wild Seed’ in 1974 and just kept going. This show is part of an important movement, separate from the commercial considerations that intrude into producing art.”
Every year, the combined installation evolves with a fresh focus, Stapleford writes. This year, the show will link a science-based Exploratorium, participants engage in both art and science, making connections between seeds, daily life and global health. “Juried art in all mediums interprets the profound creativity of seeds, inviting visitors to explore their relationship to the natural world. At the same time, the SEED Exploratorium offers hands-on education related to seeds, delivered by well-trained staff members to facilitate learning. Specific activities this year range from embryonic X-rays and seed masks to sprouting roots and food sources.”
With a reported increase in annual attendance, “SEED 3” in 2011 gave classes and field trips to more than 450 Taos youth, and saw over 1,000 visitors to the show. In addition, a strong web presence has attracted out of state interest in producing a “SEED” event in California and England, while the site also provides links to various international SEED interests.
“The concept of SEED has definitely moved my work into new directions, opened up more sculptural possibilities and brought me closer to the sense of the universe existing in small things,” Merce Mitchell is quoted in the release. “I began my hive project shortly after participating in the SEED 3 exhibition last year.”
Stapleford’s own focus is on genetically modified organisms (GMO) alleged to be in the food supply. “This is an issue of global significance that affects the majority of the planet’s population. Most of the human race has been an unwitting participant in a massive science experiment.”
The 17 artists participating in this year’s show are Ginny Abblett, Matt Adams, Claire Blanchard, Laura Brzozowski, Claire Cote, Chinni, Kerrie Lynn Cohn, Ewert, Stephanie Lerma, Jennifer Lynch, Reto Messmer, Linda Michael-Cassidy, Mitchell, Siena Sanderson, Mandy Stapleford, Katie Woodall and John Wenger.
Because collaboration has been at the heart of the project since it began in 2009, “SEED” is including two auxiliary exhibits this year at the Stables Gallery.
One was partnered with local children to explore seeds as “Time Capsules of Wilderness” for their part in the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2012) from Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 27-29). At the end of the month SEED is hosting the solar powered ‘Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station’ from Oct. 27-28.
The “SEED 4” show will be open daily from noon until 6 p.m. For more information, call (575) 737-8853 or visit www.seedtaos.org.