Duarte Square

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Public Garden & Art Installation Explores The Immigrant Experience

Photo courtesy of Juanli Carrion

NYC Parks and artist Juanli Carrion recently unveiled Outer Seed Shadow #01, a new public garden and art installation that explores the diversity of New York City’s immigrant experience, in Manhattan's Duarte Square, located at the northwest corner of 6th Avenue and Canal Street.

Outer Seed Shadow #01 (OSS#01) was conceived by Spanish artist Juanli Carrión in 2012 when after years of living in New York he started to consider permanent residence in the United States. He wanted to revisit the long-established idea of the American “melting pot” and investigate the new realities of immigrant life in 2014, particularly in New York, the most symbolic of immigrant cities. Carrión conducted a series of on-camera interviews with immigrants living throughout Manhattan—performed in the comfort of their own homes—about their personal experiences of arriving to the city. At the end of the discussion, each interviewee selected a plant that exists both in their country of origin and in the United States, which represents both them and their community in the public garden.

The 1,000 square foot garden is in the shape of Manhattan and features dozens of plants selected by immigrants living in the borough. Placed according to the interviewees’ real-life locations on the island, the plants represent the diversity of the city. A palm tree chosen by Milagros, a Harlem resident originally from the Dominican Republic is placed in close proximity to the bamboo chosen by Indonesian-born Soho-resident Clara and the English bluebells from native Briton and Lower East Side resident Monroe.

The garden will host a series of free public programs beginning June 7 that includes artist-led tours, lectures, hands-on garden workshops and “Open Garden” days, organized in partnership with various immigrant and educational institutions including City Parks Foundation, The Blue School, the School of Visual Arts, El Centro del Inmigrante and Henry Street Settlement, among others. For the complete schedule of programming visit www.outerseedshadow.org/public-program

OSS#01 expects over 100,000 visitors over the six-month exhibition.

Project Sponsors include The Horticultural Society of New York, Build it Green! NYC, The Hudson Square BID, Trinity Real Estate, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Spanish Consulate of New York, Y Gallery, Rosa Santos Gallery, and The James New York.

Project Partners include ORE Design & Technology, City Parks Foundation, Urban Landscape Lab, Henry Street Settlement / Abrons Arts Center, The Blue School, El Centro del Inmigrante, and Hotel Particulier.

Duarte Square is also the home of a statue of Juan Pablo Duarte (1813–1876), the liberator of the Dominican Republic. Italian artist Nicola Arrighini sculpted the larger-than-life-sized statue of a stately, bearded Duarte in 19th century garb resting on his cane and holding a scroll. Donated by the Dominican Republic, the piece was dedicated in the square on the 165th anniversary of Duarte’s birth, on January 26, 1978.


"Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

(1809 - 1894)

Directions to Duarte Square


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