The Garfield Park Conservatory. Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

GARFIELD PARK — A new art exhibit at the Garfield Park Conservatory depicts a futuristic world where Black history and iconography blend.

Visitors can see “An Otherworldly Existence: Afrofuturism & the Environment” starting Thursday at the conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. It will be available through June 30. The exhibit shows a future where Black people are free of marginalization and environmental neglect.

The exhibit features work focused on Afrofuturism and the environmental racism experienced by Black people throughout the world, according to the conservatory’s website. It was created by collage artist Kee Merriweather, a South Side native.

Afrofuturism explores futuristic, sci-fi settings where people of African descent are at the forefront of technological advancements.

Conservatory exhibitions coordinator Onyx Engobor told Austin Weekly News Merriweather’s pieces were chosen since environmental injustice and racism have historically affected Garfield Park’s Black and Brown residents and the West Side overall.

“Environmentalism as a whole, as a system and as an institution has historically excluded Black and Brown people and Indigenous people,” Engobor said, according to Austin Weekly News. “It’s really important to the conservatory to make space for representation of Black and Brown people and marginalized people in the outdoors.” 

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