seed journeys hidden legacies

Join us and guest artist, Onajide Shakaba, for a spoken journey through his work. This event will take place on Thursday, March 9th in our Downtown Campus Gallery at 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Onajide Shakaba is an accomplished artist, curator and scholar and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums across the country as well as internationally, and it is in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami and the Vero Beach Museum of Art among others. To learn more about Onajide’s biography please visit his website.

The Artist’s statement about the work featured in “Nature|Nurture”:
The impact of the colonial enterprise was intimately tied with the concept of understanding and taming the vast flora of this planet, their use and potential for economic growth. From the “discovery” of the Americas the Europeans launched an exhaustive exploration and a taxonomic identification of world’s fauna and flora mainly for the aim of aiding them in the progress and sustenance of their societies and economic activities. Perhaps there is no other region in the world that has been more radically altered in terms of human and botanic migration, transplantation, and settlement than the Caribbean. The basic aims of the transplantation of plants and human labour was to create a system of global mass production of commodities. This occurred with little regard to the new environments that were being altered to the crucial aspects concerning the sustenance of the transplanted slaves. When planters learned to exploit specific plants with commercial potential, its transmutation from botanical curiosity to profitable commodity was completed. All these factors led to the creation of the plantation system in the Americas which became an incubator of so called modernity. Through visual exploration this project examines the relations between the colloquial and commercial uses of botanicals.