A GARDEN: THE BIRDS ARRIVE
A Garden: The Birds Arrive began as a year-long garden intervention, earthwork, and public installation at the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, NM. This work consisted of designing and building a series of concentric garden beds in the sculpture garden of the Albuquerque Museum, which used to be the warehouse and parking lot for Buehler’s Gardens, one of the primary historic food producing farms for the city at the turn of the 20th century.
The project included a public garden, clay murals, sculptures, and socially engaged events. As an Art + Agroecology experiment, its generative aesthetic presence was meant to entice visitors into the sculpture garden at the Albuquerque Museum to ask questions about plants, landscapes, people, place, water, and food. From Fall 2018 – early Summer 2019, four nearly extinct Eurasian grain varieties (einkorn, Sonoran Wheat, Cache Valley Rye, and spelt) were planted, cultivated, and harvested through a series of public events centered around embodied creativity and conversation.
At the exhibition opening for SEED: Climate Change Resilience on June 22, 2019, museum visitors were invited to re-plant the garden with farmers from Acoma Pueblo, La Villita, and Guatemala. A polyculture of bioregional indigenous plants (Elena’s Red Amaranth, Acoma Beans, and Turquoise Corn from Hopi) were planted as an acknowledgement of indigenous climate resilience currently (and historically) practiced by land-based communities throughout the region. During the closing event, Encuentro de Semillas // Gathering of Seeds, on September 21, 2019, Rachel Zollinger performed her Radicle Intervention project in the garden while the Qachuu Aloom farm partners led a public amaranth ceremony, harvest, seed cleaning, and food preparation workshop.
This project and the accompanying symposium are made possible through a partnership between Albuquerque Museum, SeedBroadcast, UNM Land Arts of the American West, and UNM Art & Ecology.
September 1, 2018 – September 29, 2019
2000 Mountain Road NW
Partners and collaborators:
Land Arts of the American West
Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
Sarah Montgomery of Garden’s Edge
Tiana Baca of Desert Oasis Teaching Garden
Art & Ecology Area at UNM
Sun, Wind, Rain
Soil Microbes, Seeds, and Birds
LAAW students learn about different agricultural methods at Professor Hart-Mann’s research farm in Anton Chico, New Mexico.
Joined by 7th regen students and guest artist Christine Mackey, LAAW conducts a site analysis exercise led by A+E Professor Catherine Harris.
Back in the Land Art’s studio, students present concepts for the collaborative garden project.
A design takes shape, emphasizing form and the variety of plantings.
LAAW students, 7th regen present garden concept to curators and administrators of Albuquerque Museum
Work begins: Layout of site plan and removal of pre-existing weed barrier.
After hours of digging, pick-axing and raking, the garden beds begin to take form.
Drip irrigation is installed (foreground). In another section, dryland style waffle gardens are created, utilizing only rain water (background).
The first planting, wintercrop: Middle Eastern and SW Asian heritage grains einkorn, spelt, Sonoran Wheat, and Cache Valley Rye.
The first sprouts of the winter crop are just the beginning of a year-long project that will offer many varieties of plants.