Encounters in Land Art & Agroecology February 7, 2021
This weekend I followed a tip by a classmate in my Land Art & Agroecology class at the University of New Mexico. The lead brought me to Albuquerque Public Library’s Website where patrons can check out up to 30 packets of seeds per year from the ABQ-Bernco Seed Library program. The Monthly Seeds in Stock Brochure is available online, along with other resources, and seeds can be picked up at the nearest convenient library within the ABQ Public Library System. Although the South Broadway branch library is some distance from our house, my partner and I decided to go pick up our seeds from the sponsoring library along with pupusas at a nearby favorite Salvadoran restaurant.
Besides picking up a total of 60 seed packets for this year’s vegetable, herb, and flower garden, we got an art history lesson on pioneering graffiti artists from 1970s New York City…
Installation at Broadway Branch Library, South Valley, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Artwork by Lonnie Anderson.
Besides picking up a total of 60 seed packets for this year’s vegetable, herb, and flower garden, we got an art history lesson on pioneering graffiti artists from 1970s New York City in an art exhibition and installation by the Albuquerque-based artist, Lonnie Anderson. Lonnie devises elaborate, elegant, and inexpensive (for the price of a box of chocolates and flowers) Valentine’s Day events that celebrate his wife Anne. The events include writing her name on larger than life piñatas, having well-known and beloved poets read poems to her in person, and having their kids prepare dinner served under a canopy of planetarium stars or in a restaurant created within their home. Lonnie was on-site at the South Broadway library to share stories with visitors. In one story, Lonnie asked to borrow and install a full-scale carousel complete with carnival lights and horses. Not only was his wife impressed but the carousel attracted the attention of a family with two little girls that saw the installation and gleefully jumped at a chance to ride on it. Besides his work as an artist, Lonnie helps carry on and promote La Plazita Institue, a South Valley organization with initiatives to engage vulnerable youth and families in cultural restorative justice, agriculture, conservation, and traditional spiritual healing among other community-based practices. Lonnie is currently working on making the exhibition accessible as a 3D digital experience, just what’s needed in these COVID times. I’ll be posting a link as soon as it’s available.
I will definitely follow up with Lonnie to see what I can bring to South Valley’s community table. In my humble opinion, passing along life lessons and tips by way of ecology, food, traditional knowledge and other arts that I have pursued and practiced in my lifetime is among the ways to ensure a livable planet for everyone, looking seven generations into the future.