It will kick off Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outdoors at the USF College of the Arts Ceremic Studio with a community seedpod-making workshop. Join members of the community in creating seedpods, clay spheres embedded with heirloom corn seeds. Click here for information.
These seedpods will be distributed at Bosco Sodi’s participatory public art performance of «Tabula Rasa» on Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at Meacham Urban Farm, 1108 E. Scott St., Tampa.
Mexican artist Bosco Sodi’s participatory public art performance, «Tabula Rasa.» invites visitors to collect their own seedpod from among the organic crops at Meacham Urban Farm in downtown Tampa’s urban core to plant, nurture and harvest in their own domestic space.
Consisting of more than 100 clay seedpods formed by hand and embedded with heirloom corn seeds, the project highlights indigenous Mexican agricultural practices and their impact on food cultivation and sustainability in the United States, offering a symbolic message of hope, care and mutual assistance through individual and collective action.
Inspired by Earth’s universal cycles of growth, «Tabula Rasa,» Latin for «clean slate,» symbolizes new beginnings.
First installed on May 23, 2021, in New York City’s Washington Square Park, the Tampa iteration of Sodi’s public artwork will engage the community in the collaborative and creative process of hand-making hundreds of clay seedpods and embedding them with heirloom corn seeds.
During the participatory event on Feb. 12, the public will be invited to claim their seedpods to plant, nurture and harvest, thus highlighting indigenous Mexican agricultural practices and their potential impact on food cultivation and sustainability in the United States.
Engaging public participation and the power of creative transformation, the project offers what Sodi considers vessels for new life as a gesture of mutual assistance and opportunity for individual and collective growth.
A planting demonstration and tour of the farm will be provided.
Admission is free but visitors are expected to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Additional parking will be available on the street and in the parking lot in the 1300 block of Governor Street at Scott Street.
«Tabula Rasa» (Tampa) is supported by the Gobioff Foundation and the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation, and is presented in partnership with Meacham Urban Farm and USF student organization Contemporary Art Museum Club.
Then visit the USF Contemporary Art Museum to see Sodi’s exhibit, «Básico,» now through March 5.
The exhibition brings together Sodi’s various sources of artistic inspiration as examples of sustainable art making.
The exhibition includes a powerful group of paintings titled «Vers l’Espagne,» whose rough surfaces recall creek beds and the footpaths trod by Mexican and Central American immigrants on their way north, as well two new series Sodi made in Mexico in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown: large spherical clay sculptures he calls «perfect bodies» and a series of «Sun Paintings» on chili pepper sacks, both fashioned with materials that were readily available at his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Also included in the exhibition are small clay sculptures made by locorregional children, the hands-on output of a community art program developed by Sodi’s Casa Wabi Foundation, the nonprofit art and community-education complex the artist founded eight years ago on Mexico’s Oaxacan Coast.
Among the messages of the exhibition: challenging times demand a return to what is Elemental—art, community and education.
«Elemental» is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator-at-Large, organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum.
Elemental is sponsored in part by the state of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and supported by the Lee & Victor Leavengood Endowment and the ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons.
Admission is free to the exhibit. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and closed Sunday and Jan. 17.
Click here for information.