Field Notes: Seed Stories and the Power of Plants

Field Notes: Seed Stories and the Power of Plants

Field Notes: Seed Stories and the Power of Plants

An Exhibition of Projects Based in Art and Science

On view April 13, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Free with Museum Admission

Featuring artworks and seed histories from Hudson Valley Seed Company, documentary videos of Staten Island gardeners by Jay Weichun, photograms of local flora by Gale Wisdom, and museum botanical specimens selected by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center. These four projects explore the cultural, artistic, and scientific impact of collecting plant life. In doing so, they reveal narratives of resilience, fragility, and transformation. Field Notes speaks to the heritage embedded in the flora around us.

Visitors can zoom in to see a variety of seeds up close through a high powered microscope, immerse their hands in a mass of seeds for a tactile experience, design their own seed packet, listen to featured seed stories, and enjoy a seed and gardening book nook.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and public funds provided through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Related programs


Saturday, January 11, 2pm-3:30pm

FREE with Museum Admission

1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, SI, NY 10301

An exploration of Black Diasporan ornamental gardens and the growers, garden clubs, and horticulturists associated with them led by Staten Island based horticulturist Wambui Ippolito.

Wambui Ippolito is the horticulturist and principal designer of her own New York based landscape design firm. She is a graduate of the New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture.


FROM SEED TO SUPPER: Rice Tasting with Gullah Chef BJ Dennis

Thursday, January 16, 7pm-9pm

$35 per person (Registration required. Space is limited.)

1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, SI, NY 10301

Join renowned chef BJ Dennis in conversation with horticulturist Wambui Ippolito for an interactive exploration of the culinary traditions of the Gullah, a distinctive group of Black Americans from coastal South Carolina and Georgia. A series of rice tastings are matched with discussion around the history and culture of this all important seed and special link between the Gullah and the people of West Africa.

Benjamin “BJ” Dennis IV is a chef born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, whose cooking is inspired by Gullah Geechee culture, with its origins in West Africa. Dennis studied culinary traditions in St. Thomas before returning to the Lowcountry to cook at various restaurants including Anson’s, Carolinas, Hank’s Seafood, and 82 Queen. He now cooks at various events across the country and pop-up dinners across the Lowcountry.

Read more about Chef Dennis in Bon Appétite.


American Gardens and the African Diaspora and From Seed to Supper is funded, in part, through Staten Island Arts’ Expanding Audiences and Cultural Participation program, which has been made possible through the generosity of New York Community Trust, The Staten Island Foundation, and the Altman Foundation.


Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Take your seed exploration outdoors and join on neighbors on site for a garden or heritage farm tour!  Present your coupon fromthe Museum and receive $2 off your tour. 

Learn more here