Black artists celebrate diversity in “Resilience in Nature”


From a poem by Tupac Shakur about a flower growing in concrete, an art exhibition of black artists was born that celebrates the strength and diversity of people as well as nature.

“Resilience in Nature: We are the Roses that Grew from the Concrete,” which runs through November 28 at the Cardinal Health Gallery at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, features the work of 29 artists from central Ohio, ranging from a preteen to established art professionals. .

The theme of the exhibition is based on the poem:

“Have you heard of the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete / Prove that the laws of nature are wrong, she learned to walk without having her feet / Funny it seems but keeping her dreams / He learned to breathe the fresh air / Long live the rose that grew out of concrete / When no one else cared.

The 31 works in the exhibition are in a variety of mediums, including drawing, textile art, painting, photography and sculpture. In an equally diverse imagery, the works notice the resilience of the natural world and the humans who live in it.

"pink alley" by Jamie César

Jamie Ceaser’s photograph “Alley Rose” captures a single red painted flower standing impossibly high behind a wire fence. Earl H. English used the scanner photography for “Altered Reality # 3”, a striking close-up of rose petals.

Stefanie Rivers’ “Steady Force” textile is a beautiful, bold image of a tree in gold, green, red and purple colors, embellished with buttons, shells and sequins.

In his large and elegant mural “Paradise Regained # 18”, Benjamin Crumpler presents a field of pastel flowers and plants, home to birds, insects and lizards.

And in the “Honeycomb Collective” mixed blend, Kenya Davis uses real plants, including dried lotus pods.

"Hanged by a member" by Stacy Spencer

Many works place people in natural settings, including “The Blackberry Pickers,” a folkloric-style acrylic scene by Floristine Yancey-Jones of workers in rural Virginia on a sunny day. In Stacy L. Spencer’s “Hanging by a Limb”, created with acrylic paint and papier-mâché, the leaves hanging from a tree bear words such as “hope,” “family,” “faith” and ” peace “. There is also a bench in the scene with the words “Black Lives Matter” on it.

And the youngest artist in the exhibition is 12-year-old Dionna Kendrick, whose “Resilience” pencil drawing depicts a girl whose arms spread like a tree to honor, with their names on leaves, female heroines including Beyonce and Maya Angelou.

"Blackberry pickers " by Floristine Yancey-Jones

The exhibit was created by the conservatory in partnership with four central Ohio organizations: All People Arts, Creative Women of Color, Maroon Arts Group, and TRANSIT ARTS. Five jurors selected the works, all artists or art experts: Queen Brooks, Richard Duarte Brown, Marshall Shorts, Bettye Stull and April Sunami.

Bonnie DeRubertis, associate director of exhibitions at the conservatory, said the exhibit is meant to be diverse and represents emerging and under-represented artistic voices.

“In nature, diversity is a huge force,” she said. “We can count on nature to help us grow as a community. “

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In one look

“Resilience in Nature: We are the roses that grew out of concrete” continues through November 28 at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St. Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily . Admission: $ 19, or $ 16 for seniors, $ 12 for ages 3 to 12, free for ages 2 and under and members. Call 614-715-8000 or visit


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