AnkhLave Garden Project Summer 2022

AnkhLave Garden Project

Outdoor exhibit on view throughout the Garden

June 25 – September 5, 2022
Series now extended through October 1
Sherwin Banfield’s Botanical Boombox extended through October 30

The annual AnkhLave Garden Project is a fellowship where Queens-based Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists create installations in a natural community space as an alternative studio and exhibition space. For the third year at Queens Botanical Garden, AnkhLave Arts Alliance has selected five fellows to create site-specific art installations throughout the grounds. By presenting artists and art-making in a non-traditional setting like QBG, AnkhLave aims to promote artists of color who represent and reflect the Garden’s visiting audience.

Curated by former AnkhLave Garden Project Fellow Cecilia André.

AnkhLave Arts Alliance works to provide inclusive representation of people of diverse ethnicities within the contemporary art conversation. This project is made possible by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

#QBGArtintheGarden #AnkhLaveGardenProject 

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AnkhLave Garden Party

Thursday, August 4, 6 to 8pm

Join us for an evening of after-hours access to Queens Botanical Garden, featuring an art crawl of AMPLIFY: AnkhLave Garden Project. Come for an interactive tour with the artists, hands-on arts activities, music, and a garden bar (alcoholic and non-alcohol available for purchase).

This event has passed.

Find the installations!

About the Artists

Sherwin Banfield 

Location: The Meadow (Location 5 on the Artist Map above)

“Botanical Boombox”

Botanical Boombox is a mini greenhouse boombox sculpture that houses a miniature public housing ecosystem amplifying dreams and stories of personal growth and struggle. Inside this Boombox greenhouse is an arrangement of diverse plants that symbolize the voice of voiceless, individual lived experience by local hip hop artists, sprouting through the redlined concrete of Queensbridge Houses as a metaphoric photosynthesis. The Boombox is the amplification of these voices that uses music and hip hop culture to express personal and community issues regarding growing up in their ecosystem. This project is part exposition and part celebration, exploring the overlapping layers of hip hop stories, environmental racism, surveillance, industrialization, and poverty.

About Sherwin

Sherwin Banfield is a Queens, NY-based mixed-media artist with recent work attempting to explore journeys of identity and ancestry. Sherwin’s creative practice tends to deconstruct the imaginative and physical journey of identity within his preferred subject matter, the human experience. While exploring the journey of his subject, he would seek to draw a connection between their personal stories and established culture, frequently imposing mythological and imaginative ideas as accessories within his sculptures.

Carlos Wilfredo Encarnación

Location: Base of the Green Roof (Location 2 on the Artist Map above)


The conch shell, used as a wind instrument in many of our cultures, is also associated with the ear, given its ear-like shape. Many of us have experienced its resonance by holding it up to our ears and “listening to the ocean.”  Resonantias is the artist’s invitation to reflect not only on how to amplify our voices, but also on how to become amplifiers of our ancestry and of our communities, by echoing  things that connect us all as people.

About Carlos
Carlos Wilfredo Encarnación is a visual artist and art educator born and raised in Puerto Rico.  Encarnación received a BA in Social Sciences/Forensic Psychology from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, a BA in Painting from CUNY-Herbert H. Lehman College, and an MFA from CUNY-The City College of New York.  He is the recipient of the Bronx Museum’s AIM Fellowship 2019, BronxArtSpace/Governors Island Initiative Residency 2020 and Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Award in 2019 and 2021. Encarnación currently works and lives in The Bronx.

Ruth Jeyaveeran

Location: Constructed Wetland Garden (by the Oak Allée) (Location 1 on the Artist Map above)

“Woolly Cairns”

Cairns are man-made stacks or piles of rocks dating back to ancient times and have been used by various cultures throughout history as navigational tools and burial monuments, and to mark ceremonial sites. These playful cairns made of felted wool are fuzzy and tactile. The bright colors and unexpected material stand out against the landscape and highlight the contrast between hard and soft things.

About Ruth
Ruth Jeyaveeran is a South Asian American artist, designer, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She works with fibers and textiles to examine their relationship to human history, culture, and technology. Her goal is to place these materials traditionally associated with the domestic and functional in a new context. Recurring themes in her work focus on the effects of time on the body and the environment. Using the language of ritual and symbols, she questions the notion that humanity can control or truly separate itself from nature.

M.E. Guadalupe Rubi

Location: in the English Ivy alongside the path between the Wedding Garden and Bee Garden (Location 4 on the Artist Map above)

“Hedera Sprouts”

Hedera Sprouts is a celebration of life pushing forth from the roots of the earth to the surface, and the eternal cycle of plants creating shelter and shade. 

About Mary
Mary Evangeline Guadalupe Rubi is a textile artist, costume designer, wig enthusiast, rogue taxidermist, and crafter of silly things. M.E. Guadalupe Rubi’s artistic practice is a meditation on memory: the stories we have inherited and the stories we create to remember. Drawing inspiration from the First Nations tradition of the sacredness of the color red, Latin folklore, and the desire to reclaim an Indigenous narrative, her pieces embrace botany and the natural world as a source of healing and reconciliation. Using the mediums of fiber, clay, and wood the viewer is invited to connect to nature. Mammal skulls, feminine craft studies, and textiles are at the center of her work and a manifestation of a journey to find home and create a narrative focused on reclaiming blood memory.

Yiyi Wei

Three Locations: Entrance to the Fragrance Walk, by the Circle Garden; in the Arboretum; in the Compost Demo Yard (Locations marked “3” on the Artist Map above)

“大地肌理 – Earth Skin”

大地肌理/Earth Skin molds the surface of the earth with molten glass. The viscous glass flows over the compost made at the Queens Botanical Garden, creating a set of topographical castings, which participants are encouraged to see, smell, and touch. The title is inspired by one of the Chinese names for “texture”: “肌理”(jī lǐ). The character ‘肌’meaning “skin’”or “muscle,” draws a poetic connection between our body and the earth. Through participation, the project aims to (re)connect our body with the earth that nourishes us, interconnects us and the earth that we will return to—the earth our ancestors walked, who may be walking with us still.

About Yiyi

Yiyi Wei is an inter-disciplinary artist born and raised in China. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design Glass department, where she began to consider her artworks as processes that perceive the entangled connections between human and non-human existences. Weaving between the tangible and the transient, Wei explores performances, interactive installations and poetic writings to contemplate on our posture within a system of symbiotic relationships across time and culture. 

To explore past installations of the AnkhLave Garden Project at Queens Botanical Garden, click here for the 2020 exhibit and here for the 2021 exhibit.

To learn more about Queens Botanical Garden’s Art in the Garden, click here.