AZ Humanities: “The Desertification Cookbook” – Revitalizing Desert Wasteland through Land Art with DesertArtLAB

Development in desert cities has created new homes and opportunities in the Southwest, but has also stripped away parts of the natural environment and its rich history. Can urban pockets of degraded land be revitalized? Can the history and the ecological value of these places be reclaimed sustainably? The answers may lie in a 30-year land art project in Pueblo, Colorado. Matt Garcia and April Bojorquez, artists, educators, and founders of DesertArtLAB, transform “wasteland” into a productive and edible landscape in their public art initiative: “The Desertification Cookbook.”  They bring together art and place, ecology and community, in an ambitious multi-phase project set to span decades. Join us for a conversation with Garcia and Bojorquez as they discuss the development of their land art project, from its roots in Phoenix to its realization in Pueblo.

This program is part of the Climate Conversations series hosted by Arizona Humanities. The series is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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DesertArtLAB is an interdisciplinary environmental arts collaborative co-directed by April Bojorquez and Matt Garcia. Their work promotes Indigenous/Chicanx perspectives on ecological practice, food sovereignty, self-determination, and climate change. DesertArtLAB’s projects activate public space through participatory artworks and support the restoration of desert environments and their foodways through zero irrigation regrowth projects. DesertArtLAB have presented their work nationally and internationally at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France; The Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM; the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Galería de la Raza (San Francisco), among many others.April and Matt are recipients of the Creative Capital award and were 2021 Mellon Artists in Residence at the Colorado College Fine Arts Center Museum; they live and work in Pueblo, Colorado.

  • Audience: Adult
  • Genre: Conservation and Sustainability, Field Sciences
  • Type: Hybrid (Online & In-person), Presentation

The event is finished.


Apr 06 2022


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm



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AZ Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85004


AZ Humanities
(602) 257-0335
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