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Flower Shop Art Collective to Kick Off Sustainable Summer Series in Brooklyn

Local artists and non-artists alike are invited to a free workshop where they will use natural dyes from vegetables to create "painted poems."

Brooklyn's minority woman-owned art studio Flower Shop Collective is kicking off its Sustainable Summer Series in McGolrick Park on June 12.

From 1:00-3:00pm the collective will host a free workshop as part of their Slow Process Summer series, aimed at giving locals the necessary tools to embrace their community.

Flower Shop Collective, housed on Morgan Avenue in Greenpoint, provides creative guidance to artists as well as a safe place to store and create work. As an inclusive artistic community, the collective focuses on cultivating the ideas of Black and Brown, indigenous, minority ethnic and immigrant artists.

"We remain in service to artists of color, and we remain determined to cultivate stories of diaspora and home, wherever home may be," reads the collective's website.

Home for artist Cesar Kastro is Bogotá, Columbia, a place he channels into his art. Kastro creates paintings and sculptures based on research into the artistic culture of Colombia. He specifically focuses on the art that New York museums have from this area.

Kastro will lead the free workshop, titled "The Hierarchy of Materials," where he will teach attendees how two different mediums can come together and create one cohesive work of art.

The focus is on the historical use of dyeing textiles in pre-Hispanic communities. Artists will learn how to use natural dyes from vegetables, like yellow onion and red cabbage. Poet Daniel Tahoun will also lead a guided poetry activity at the workshop. By the end, attendees will take home their own "painted poems."

Flower Shop Collective chose Brooklyn as the kick-off location for the series because it has a "special sense of community," publicist Isoke Salaam said. Since the pandemic began, local artists have struggled to connect with each other and express themselves artistically.

"With the lockdown, we were excited to start the series safely because people have been alone," Salaam said. "They used to come into the studio and come to events, and that's been cut off."

Slow Process Summer aims to bring the community together to focus on sustainable art. No experience is necessary to participate in the workshop. In fact, Salaam notes that the activities will be simple, and artists will be there to guide the process.

Beyond the Brooklyn workshop, there will be several digital workshops and Instagram lives for artists to participate in.

The collective also encourages artists to apply to gain studio access to its Greenpoint headquarters, where the team offers sliding scale payment.

Artists in the studio are following COVID-19 safety measures. This means that artists have seen each other's work, but haven't spent time in the same room together. FSC hopes to begin bringing artists together in the studio to collaborate in a safe, well-lit artistic space.

Slow Process Summer will kick off on June 12 at McGolrick Park. Attendance is free, but RSVPs are mandatory. Attendees can RSVP at this link.