who belongs?

public engagements exploring our relationship to land

with artist Brooke Toczylowski and guest collaborators

June – October, 2024

Westmoor Park Community Gardens (at the corner of Flagg and Mountain Rd)

West Hartford, Connecticut 

tending community

Saturday, June 15th, 10am—12pm

Join artist Brooke Toczylowski in the garden for an introduction to the who belongs? project. After a short talk and tour of the vegetable and dye allotments, we will tend to the land by caring for the plants, then harvest greens and gather for a community lunch and discussion.

re-remembering through storytelling & land acknowledgments

Saturday, July 6th, 10am—12pm

Join Irene Norman and Paul Wegman from the Institute for American Indian Studies, as well as artist Brooke Toczylowski, for a collaborative session exploring indigenous and colonial relationships to land and plants.

Irene Norman is Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at the Institute for American Indian Studies. Influenced by both her North Carolina upbringing and Mohawk heritage, Irene brings a distinctive perspective to her work as an educator and storyteller. Irene also studied Political Science and American Indian and Indigenous Studies at UNC Chapel Hill where she worked at the university’s American Indian Center. 

Paul Wegner is the Assistant Executive Director of the Institute for American Indian Studies. He’s been working in the field of archaeology for 20 years and at IAIS for 10 years, managing collections and curating exhibitions. When not knee deep in ceramics, Paul likes to spend time with his family, watch and write about film, and visit museums.

fence raising/razing

Saturday, August 10th, 10am-12pm

“People put up nets, fences, and railings to delineate and separate land, saying this is ‘mine’ and that is ‘not mine.’ But it is absurd to think that we can be owners of the earth. We form part of the earth and we are united with her—we are not her proprietors.” Delcy Morelos, Artist

Be part of a public art installation and performance.

ecological belonging: what’s natural? what’s unnatural?

Saturday, September 21, 10-11:30am

Join biologist Adolfo Sánchez-Blanco (@dr.bioforever) and artist Brooke Toczylowski as they discuss what’s natural and unnatural in our environment. Using the garden as a living example, we will consider how humans have been vectors for invasive species and how we might cultivate regenerative food systems. This workshop includes a tour of the garden—exploring both weeds and cultivated species, a group discussion, and a hands-on work session where we will prepare part of the garden for a nitrogen-fixing cover crop.

Adolfo Sánchez-Blanco is an Associate Professor of Biology at Connecticut State – Capital. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University School of Medicine and worked as a Postdoctoral Scientist at the Spanish National Research Council in Salamanca, Spain, before starting his teaching career. He has a B.S. (Biology) and an M.S. (Ecology) from University of Salamanca, Spain, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Connecticut. Adolfo is also a Biology influencer with more than half a million followers on TikTok (@dr.bioforever) and over 270K followers on Instagram (@dr.bio4ever). His social media creations have been featured by news outlets such as The Weather Channel, Newsweek, Daily Mail or WFSB Channel 3.

post-colonial mapping

Sunday, October 6, 2-4pm

How might we reconsider our position and relationship to land and place? Using natural inks made from the dye garden, participants will be guided through the artist’s conceptual mapping process.

putting the garden to bed

Sunday, October 27th, 2-4pm

How do we move through grief, take care of ourselves and others, and prepare for a season of dormancy?

This project received support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency

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