Artist Dario Mohr will lead a “Happy Planting Day” workshop planting seed paper greeting card messages to our ancestors. Mohr and Cody Umans will also erect a new monument outside OSH, “Ancestral Perennial,” to mark the plot of land where the Happy Planting Day ceremony will take place. The ceremony will invite participants from previous workshops to plant greeting cards they wrote to their ancestors. Participants are also invited to create new greeting cards to be planted that day, while learning about the artists’ work.
About the Happy Planting Day Ceremony:
The greeting card planting is a way to create new life in honor of our ancestors by planting written dedications to them. It is also a way to bring a piece of the continent of Africa to NYC. The greeting cards were sourced from three workshops that Mohr facilitated last year: a Juneteenth event at Lewis Latimer House Museum in Queens; a performance at the opening of Mohr’s solo show at Old Stone House in Brooklyn; and a holiday workshop at Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx, encompassing the three Black and Brown dominant boroughs of New York City facing gentrification. The workshops allow audience members to engage in direct participation with the artwork and reflect on their own ancestry.
About the Artists and Monument:
Dario Mohr is a first generation Grenadian U.S. citizen born in 1988. His work involves the creation of “sacred spaces” referencing his heritage, and expressing commentary on the cultural zeitgeist through immersive sanctuary experiences. Cody Umans aims to communicate stories, social criticism, educational material, and emotional catharsis through interdisciplinary, participatory artworks. He observes already existing systems of visual communication and educational tools from both his own society and those that are focused on sustainability and emphasize caring relationships with the planet.
Cody and Dario first met at the Flux Factory residency in 2020. Cody participated in an exhibition of Dario’s where they both shared memorials to past relatives. Since then they have discovered multiple ways in which their art practices complement each other. Using Dario’s constructed drawings, Cody built an altar for his Temple of Acacia solo show at the Old Stone House. This altar is being repurposed to serve as the windows and walls of the “Ancestral Perennial” monument that will distinguish the spiritual space where the seeds of our beloveds can grow. The details of the installation are Inspired by Dario’s travels in Ghana. They Include Adinkra symbols inspired by the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana as well as Cody’s unique puzzle piece construction method that he employs for much of his work.