TULSA – Officials from Ahha Tulsa have announced its newest exhibit, "Seed Reef," opening at the Ahha Hardesty Center this Friday, Nov. 5.
Seed Reef is an immersive, sculpted paper installation of a coral reef threatened by bleaching and pollution. During the exhibition, visitors are invited to restore the seed reef, created in collaboration with artists Malcolm Zachariah and Emma Difani, whose artistic partnership formed through a shared love of material, nature, and ecology.
Emma uses dye, silkscreen, and woodcut printmaking techniques to create patterns and imagery based on reef life. Malcolm designs, cuts, and shapes the printed paper to create stationary and suspended kirigami sculptures.
Emma Difani is a visual artist originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, living and working in Oklahoma City. As an arts educator, as well as a creator, Emma teaches paper and print arts at Oklahoma Contemporary, Artspace and Untitled, The Oklahoma Children’s Theater and Oklahoma City University. In 2019, Emma co-founded Connect: Collect, an annual international print exchange seeking to highlight and connect printmakers in Oklahoma with artists around the world.
“I am excited to present this work at Ahha, a pillar of the arts community in Tulsa,” said Difani. “Climate change and the health of our oceans are critical, pressing issues demanding our action. I hope this exhibit can help people, even here in land-locked Oklahoma, understand its impact.”
Malcolm Zachariah is both an artist and a biochemist, holding a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and a graduate degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Utah. Zachariah has pursued visual, musical and martial arts in conjunction with his biochemist studies. Zacharia is an environmental programs specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City.
“I enjoy working with Emma because we can both work together and separately,” said Malcolm. “This project pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with paper. I kept reef aquariums in my teens and know how fragile corals can be, so I’m glad this project invites visitors to join the restoration process.”
“Ahha Tulsa is always striving to keep Tulsans in tune with their creativity,” said Holly Becker, executive director for Ahha Tulsa. “Our staff is beyond excited to share what Emma and Malcolm have created and are confident that our community will find great value, inspiration and education in this upcoming exhibit.”
Ahha Tulsa is located at 101 E. Archer St. in Tulsa and is open noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, and is closed Monday and Tuesday.