Regenerators: The Art of Favianna Rodriguez
May 24 - June 29, 2019
Gallery 81435, Telluride Colorado
A exhibit organized by Mountainfilm, in collaboration with Telluride Arts
Plants and trees give us the oxygen that we breathe everyday. This new body of work is about my transformative and healing relationship to plants, nature and plant medicine. As an artist activist engaged in organizing communities around climate justice, I believe that we must tell different stories about our human relationship to nature so that we may realign with our mother earth and reimagine solutions to the climate crisis. Our current social, political and economic system is built upon the exploitation and abuse of the planet, animals, and people - mostly people of color and migrants at the global level. People of color disproportionately suffer the impacts of climate chaos, and therefore, it’s imperative that we tell our stories about how environmental catastrophe affects us, as well as how nature has the knowledge to help move us forward. We must urgently to build an alternative system of energy, but in order to do so, we must first change how we view nature and the world around us. In creating this new body of work, I sought to cultivate a deeper relationship to plants and nature as a key pathway to personal and collective liberation. I began caring for an urban garden for the first time, and nourishing plants in my home for the first time. I tried plant medicines for the first time and was connected to a portal of deep ecological intelligence, which taught me how to see nature differently. These works are a product of this transformative practice within myself.
Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social justice activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, economic inequality, gender justice, sexual freedom and ecology. Her practice boldly reshapes the myths, ideas, and cultural practices of the present, while confronting the wounds of the past. Favianna’s signature mark-making embodies the perspective of a first-generation American Latinx artist with Afro-Latinx roots who grew up in working-class Oakland, California during the birth of internet, and in the midst of an era of anti-immigrant hate and the war on drugs. As part of her practice, Favianna leads art interventions around the United States. Her artistic modalities include social practice, visual art, arts advocacy and institution building . Favianna collaborates deeply with social movements to co-create visual narratives and cultural strategies that are resilient and transformative. In addition to her expansive studio practices, she is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that empowers artists to dream big, disrupt the status quo, and envision a truly just world rooted in shared humanity. In 2016, Favianna received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship for her work around immigrant detention and mass incarceration. In 2017, she was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity for her work around racial justice and climate change. In 2018, she began organizing with artists in the entertainment industry through 5050by2020.com, an initiative launched by Jill Soloway to build intersectional artist power.