Three LA art shows center on nature, gardening, activism

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Many people have turned toward their gardens over the last year for sustenance, a new hobby, or a mental health break. That newfound passion has made its way into nearby art galleries, in shows focusing on nature, gardening, and the earth.

“A lot of these shows focus on women being extra connected to nature, or women as healers and providers ,” says Lindsay Preston Zappas, editor in chief at the Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles

She recommends checking out these three shows:


JOJO ABOT, “Gods Among Men (NGIWUNKULUNKULU),” 2018 (video still). Digital Video, Color and Sound, 3 minutes 42 seconds. Image courtesy of the artist and LADIES’ ROOM.

An online group show at LADIES’ ROOM includes 100 women and non-binary artists celebrating gardens and cultivation. Proceeds from sales go towards local organizations that address food insecurity, including LA Food Policy Council, Ron Finley Project, and Summaeverythang Community Center. 

“Some of the works are abstract, some deal with natural energy or force, and a lot of them include the female body, interacting or becoming entwined with nature,” says Preston Zappas.

Carolina Caycedo at Oxy Arts

As many institutions remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carolina Caycedo’s “Care Report” at Oxy Arts was meant to be viewed from the sidewalk. 

“It focuses on women who fight for environmental issues,” says Preston Zappas. “The main piece in the exhibition is a large collage of photographs of women from around the world engaging in women-led environmental protests.”

Other pieces tie the female body to the idea of land stewardship and activism. For example, the show features a large mural of the Yarrow plant, which is known to be beneficial to women's reproductive and sexual health.

Michael Henry Hayden at Moskowitz Bayse

Michael Henry Hayden, “Thicket,” 2020. Oil and aquaresin, 40 1/2 x 71 x 4 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Moskowitz Bayse. 

In “Waiting for the Canyon’s Echo,” Michael Henry Hayden creates silicone casts of natural materials like plants, rocks, and trees he finds in his garden and out on hikes.

“He took the cast of this huge granite slab in Angeles National Forest,” says Preston Zappas. “You see this beautiful rock face, and some of the granite pieces from the actual slab made their way into the piece.”

More: Photo collage of protests highlights women as healers, providers, and protectors