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East Village Gallery show abloom with community garden art

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Community gardens and art collide in the “All Tomorrow’s Gardens” exhibit, opening at East Village Gallery tonight, Fri., Aug. 4.

Featuring nearly 50 artists, the exhibition honors the past, present and future of one of New York City’s vital resources — its community gardens.

Participating artists include Vera Alexandrov, Nora Balaban, Lois Bender, Melinda Billings, Elisa Blynn, Leilah Cohen, Carla Cubit, Lane Diko, Eileen Doster, Joan Dworkin, Carmen Einfinger, Adam Ende, Kyle Ericksen, Kuki Gomez, Ken Hiratsuka, Ryoko Hirose, George Hirose, @mx.enigma, Aresh Javadi, MJ King, Michael Koster, Elizabeth Kresch, Sally Lelong, DD Maucher, Joan Elizabeth Meyer, Esther Mizrahi, Bill Morrison, Laurie Olinder, Rochelle Pashkin, Gilda Pervin, JenniferPodIsDead, Rolando Politi, Daniel Polnau, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Reynolds, Daniel Root, Bonnie Rosenstock, Lee Ruelle, Nick Savides, Annie Shaver-Crandell, Marie Suchan, Gretchen Van Dyk, Margie and Jenny Wardlaw (CashmerePunk), Lili White, Sally Young, Felicia Young and Donna Zimmerman.

Modern community gardening began in the 1970s and ’80s. The surprising green oases grew out of burnt-out and abandoned lots, often the result of purposeful destruction of buildings by landlords.

In marginalized areas of the city, people banded together to reclaim unused land for the betterment of their communities. They created beautiful and safe spaces for children to play and learn about nature, and for neighbors to plant, grow a garden and gather together. Every year there are hundreds of events, educational workshops and food distribution initiatives in the many gardens that dot the city’s urban landscape.

Community gardens by nature are activist spaces and the fight continues to protect and preserve these spaces that are constantly under threat by urban development.

The opening reception for “All Tomorrow’s Gardens” is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at East Village Gallery, at 621 E. 11th St., between Avenues B and C. The show, which will run through Aug. 13, is curated by George Hirose and Kerri Lindström.

The opening will feature special performances, including “The Turnip,” by Adam Ende and Jawbone Puppet Theater, at 6:45 p.m. and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, at 7 p.m. There will also be a sidewalk tape art installation by Kuki Gomez.

“All Tomorrow’s Gardens” is co-sponsored by LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) and Art Loisaida Foundation. The exhibit will be on view Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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