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Exhibit hopes to plant ‘Seed’ of education, dialogue

“It’s Not By Chance at All” by Española Healing Foods Oasis, Valdez Park, Española

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — SeedBroadcast aims to put the culture back in agriculture.

At the Albuquerque Museum exhibition, visitors will encounter glass gourds cradling seeds dangling from the ceiling. Audiotapes will tell “seed stories” describing their contents. A 14- by 16-foot triptych photo montage celebrating traditional farming methods dominates an entire wall. A time-lapse video shows a garden spanning all four seasons.

“Seed: Climate Change Resilience” is open through Sept. 22. The University of New Mexico-affiliated collective SeedBroadcast is mounting the exhibition with the help of New Mexico indigenous seed savers, acequia farmers, permaculturists and more to explore seed resilience in an era of tumultuous climate change.

“We hope to animate a dialogue around the wisdom that already sits in place,” SeedBroadcast co-founder Chrissie Orr said. “We feel that leaning to that for guidance is going to move us forward.”

The project started in 2016 with funding from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Climate Change Solutions Fund. The collective partnered with the Acoma Ancestral Lands Farm Corp. program, the Española Healing Foods Oasis/Tewa Women United, Mer-Girl Gardens and the Tse Daa K’aan Lifelong Learning Community.

The group followed four farm projects from spring through summer and autumn harvest. Across the seasons, they interviewed farmers and photographed a time line from seeds to cultivating, planting, tending, drought, locusts, hail, labor, struggle and harvest.

The exhibition includes performances by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Michelle Otero from 5 to 8:30 p.m. July 18. Otero and local poets will read from their works with a screening of the film “Seed Travels” by Sarah Montgomery and Liz Gioetz.

The contemporary chamber group Chatter will perform Das Lied von Der Ede (“The Song of the Earth”) by Gustav Mahler, arranged by Arnold Schoenberg for 15 players from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 15.

To close the exhibition, “Encuentro de Semillas” (“Gathering of the Seeds”) will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 21. SeedBroadcast and its community partners will share strategies of seed resilience. Visitors will learn about seed saving, take part in a seed exchange, harvest amaranth, make art with Axle Contemporary and hear a panel discussion about bio-regional and indigenous arid land agriculture, climate change and seeds.

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