May 29, 2013

Plant a Seed! Build a Palace!

Doug Retzler Constructing the Gourd Palace at Arlington Arts Center for Green Acres Summer 2013
Constructing the Gourd Palace

The Gourd Palace frame is up! It is time to move on to phase two: decorating it from top to bottom with leafy, fruitful gourd plants. Doug Retzler, the orchestrating artist, has provided AAC with over 35 types of gourd seeds and last week, we were able to plant at least a good three dozen in starter pots. This is just the beginning though, there are still many seeds waiting to be germinated. This is where we could use your help – plant a seed or two and help us a grow a palace!

Seeds for Doug Retzler's Gourd Palace at Arlington Arts Center for Green Acres Summer 2013
Seeds for Gourd Palace

You will need:

  • Gourd seeds (provided by AAC)
  • A small-ish planting pot or disposable cup with drainage holes
  • Well-fertilized soil
  • A pencil


 How to get started:

  1. Pick up seeds from the front desk of the Arlington Arts Center at your earliest convenience. Each seed packet comes with multiple seeds ready to be planted by you!
  2. Rough up the surface of each seed with a nail file or emery board and soak in a bowl of water overnight. These two steps expedite the germination process.
  3. Label your pot or cup with the gourd specimen and fill with soil. Using the pencil, poke a hole one inch deep. Nestle one seed into its new home. Repeat as necessary.
  4. Place your gourd-homes where they will get direct, frequent sunlight, for at least six hours a day.  Water regularly, keeping mindful that your seeds are not drowning. Too much water can lead to soggy roots or rotten seeds. Above all, be patient. It can take anywhere from one to six weeks to see a sprout.

For even more detailed instructions, check out WikiHow’s article on growing gourds.

On June 15th from 11am-2pm, Doug Retzler will be on site to help you transplant your gourd seedlings to the ground. Be sure to check back periodically because once the gourds get going, they’ll grow fast, nearly a foot a day!

In addition, GREEN ACRES, the much-anticipated traveling exhibition, will open just a few weeks later in the galleries on June 29th. In all, AAC has a great summer ahead of it. Be sure to like us on Facebook and sign up with our e-newsletter – there will be a lot happening at AAC this summer and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of it!

– Written by Jenni Myung, AAC GREEN ACRES Marketing Intern, and Carolyn Bauer, AAC GREEN ACRES Curatorial Intern

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award

Elliot Doughtie: Tomato

September 9 - December 17, 2023

Experimental Gallery

Elliot Doughtie’s sculptures and installations transform industrial materials into metaphors for the human body and the experience of inhabiting one.

Andrew Barco: Understory

September 9 - December 17, 2023

Truland Gallery

Layering objects and text, fact and fiction, history and the present moment, artist Andrew Barco’s Understory explores the possibilities and difficulties of understanding across culture and time.

Marissa Long: Blister Pearl

September 9 - December 17, 2023

Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery
Enshrined in a gauzy pink enclosure with a stalagmite-encrusted figure at its center, MoCA Arlington resident artist Marissa Long’s Blister Pearl is an installation that recalls both a Renaissance garden grotto and a saint’s sepulcher, sites synonymous with mystery and transformation.