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The Open Garden at OSS#01

Date: May 27 – September 15, 2014
Time: 12 – 5PM.
Place: OSS#01 Garden at Duarte Square (map).
Duration: 2 Hours
Cost: Free
Participants: During the summer of 2014, eight sessions for The Open Garden workshop were conducted working with: SVA Summer Residency, StudioX Columbia University, MOBIA, Henry Street Settlement, City Parks Foundation, Mi Escuelita Brooklyn, The Blue School, El Centro del Inmigrante.


The Open Garden workshops were OSS#01’ flagship program to engage directly with the community. This program established partnerships with local organizations and institutions, to use the garden as a living classroom, laboratory and case study. In each specific case we designed and scheduled a workshop tailored to the interests, ages, background and needs of each partner.

The “Open Garden” workshops were hosted by artist Juanli Carrión, Ana Orozco and a gardener from the Horticultural Society of New York, who provided gardening classes.

OSS#01 was a community garden built with plants from all over the world. The survival of these plants in the garden through the seven months of duration of the installation relied on the community. Each plant in the garden needed very specific care coming from such diverse places of origin, like the people who selected them. There were ferns growing next to cactus, or bamboo growing next to letucce—a great botanical and horticultural challenge that worked as a metaphor of the reality of the people who selected the plants.

Many of our partners (public schools, high schools, colleges course, other community gardens, neighborhood associations, etc) brought different groups of students, artists and members of their communities or programs to take part in the workshops.

In each session a group of 5-10 people met at the garden to participate in the workshop with the following structure:

  • An introduction to the garden/installation carried by the artist to put them in perspective with the project as a whole. (30 min).
  • A gardening workshop with the assistance of the gardener in which the group will “get down in the dirt” and tend to the plants that require care. Learning about origin of plants, specific facts about their care and interaction with the weather, soil, water and other plants. (1 hour)
  • A round table where we will discuss the day’s experience and how it reflects on immigration, social interaction and cultural values, including a short questionnaire/survey. (30 min)