There’s a new project space that opened in Santa Fe recently called Biocultura. They had an inaugural event April 23rd where they were one of several organizations to partner with the Smithsonian Institute to recognize Earth Day. The event at Biocultura Santa Fe was called Earth Optimism. As taken from the Smithsonian website:
Earth Optimism at Biocultura Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sunday, April 23, 2017, 5 PM – 7:30 PM MDT, 1505 Agua Fria Street
Earth Optimism Santa Fe connects globally and acts locally to feature the work of artists, students and scientists responding to environmental
challenges and opportunities. Our aim for this event is to celebrate the
systems that keep our soil (and us) healthy. Featuring electronics pioneer Leah Beuchley, LA-based bio artist Mick Lorusso in a collaboration with Joel Ong, artist and designer Catherine Page Harris, Marfa-based artist Elise Sibley Chandler, biologist Renee Bronwyn Johansen and bio art and design students Kaitlin Bryson and Sabrina Islam. The event will also mark the launch of a work by Navajo Nation-based photo muralist and memberof the Justseeds cooperative Chip Thomas. More information under “events”at our website bioculturasantafe.com.
For the mural imagery I spent time with a young Hopi man named Hawthorne Dukepoo and his sister Metzli. They live with their siblings, maternal grandma and parents on Third Mesa on the Hopi nation. Though only 18 Hawthorne has been farming in his grandfather’s cornfield since age 12. I think Metzli said she and her twin sister started when they were five. They’re about 10 now. The cornfield had gone fallow several years. Their mom, Lilian, taught him the traditional Hopi farming technique known as dry farming. The seeds are placed in shallow holes. During germination the roots burrow down to the water table.
Lilian and her husband manage a permaculture institut
e on 2nd mesa that focuses on traditional farming techniques, cob building and water harvesting. In a region of the state considered a food desert their efforts provide healthy alternatives to food options available at local trading posts. They also run a weekly farmer’s market.
The photo on the side of Biocultura shows Hawthorne preparing his field for planting next month by creating rows of wind blocks using nearby brush. Metzli is in the background preparing brush for the wind block.
The photo on the front of the house is of Hawthorne holding sweet corn and Hopi red corn. The woman in the window of one of the images of the front of Biocultura is artist and scientist Andrea Polli who cofounded Biocultura with her partner, artist + architect John Donalds.