Sow the Seeds / Dario Mohr and Jalisa Gilmore
“Sow the Seeds'' is a mural inspired by the people and culture of the Mitchell Housing Community in the South Bronx. This work depicts an Acacia tree made of Black and Brown hands, that are holding seed pods. As the seeds drop, new generations will take root and flourish. Painted imagery, as well as photographs taken of resident’s hands are connected through a single double helix strand across the piece. The Acacia tree is directly referencing the community's roots in Africa and uplifting a historical connection to nature through their African ancestors in a predominantly Black and Brown neighborhood. The botanical imagery also represents the importance of trees and green spaces to help mitigate the urban heat island effect, particularly in BIPOC communities which are more vulnerable to extreme heat as a result of environmental racism and past racist land-use policies such as red-lining. The piece hopes to further emphasize that we need community-led nature-based solutions to build healthier, greener, and more resilient urban communities in the face of climate change. Ultimately, this work stands as a well-wish that the current residents of the Mitchel Houses will continue to live and thrive in the communities, overcoming the environmental and socioeconomic odds and in the midst of gentrification.
Action: The piece looks to foster a sense of pride and connection to the land in communities of color and emphasize the importance of nature-based solutions to building healthier, greener, and more resilient urban communities in the face of climate change. Visit the mural at 225 Alexander Ave, Bronx
Bios: Dario Mohr is a New York City based interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive sanctuary experiences. In addition to work created in painting, sculpture or made digitally, he often includes assembled objects to build immersive "sacred spaces".
Jalisa Gilmore works with Resilience Programs at Groundwork USA. In her role, she is responsible for supporting the implementation of equity-centered strategies for addressing legacies of injustice and creating green, healthy neighborhood environments in communities across the nation.