April 1 – May 6, 2023
Reception: April 1, 6 – 8 pm
The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is pleased to present Flowering, organized by Oak Cliff Cultural Center Gallery Programs Coordinator Iris Bechtol featuring the work of twelve artists who in various ways have captured the fragility, beauty, and symbolism of flowers in their work. Artists included in the exhibit are Laura Davidson, Alicia Eggert, Zak Foster, Albert Gonzales, Bella Pinedo, Doug Land, MOM, Cynthia Mulcahy, Niva Parajuli, René Treviño, Desireé Vaniecia, and Ashley Whitt.
American author and poet Ross Gay’s essay, Flowers in the Hands of Statues from his 2019 publication The Book of Delights inspired this exhibition through his eloquent writing about how we experience and build the world around us, particularly through the lens of flowers and nature. When describing seeing a statue adorned with flowers, Gay writes, “I suspect this statue-adorning impulse, whether or not we know who the public figure is, is evidence, more evidence, that our inclination, our nature, is to communicate the beautiful and the fragrant however we can”. Who doesn’t love flowers? If not for their beauty, then for their sheer tenacity and ability to evolve, so they, rooted in one place, get what they need from everything around them.
It’s no wonder that flowers appear in all guises across all the arts disciplines. Flowers themselves permeate our lives; besides feeding insects, birds, and mammals, they feed the human psyche, providing us with visual beauty and a connection to the natural world. Our cultivation of them has been both physical and philosophical. Humans give them as gifts of love and celebrations of life, share their bounty of seeds, and immortalize them in the visual and literary arts. Illustrations of flowers can be seen in early Egyptian frescoes and have been important symbols in all cultures. Using a variety of methods and media, the artists in Flowering illustrate, recontextualize, and amplify the flower, communicating ideas surrounding sustainability, politics, history, culture, and our experience being in the world.
Flowering opens with a reception on April 1, 6 – 8 pm at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. San Antonio artist Albert Gonzales’ Wabi Sabi Street Art Project will be installed at various locations around Jefferson Blvd, near the center.
This exhibition is free and open to the public.