Oct 7th, 2015

Meet Roxana “Roxy’ Hojat

Roxana HojatThe Garden welcomes Roxana “Roxy” Hojat, our new Virginia Commonwealth University Graduate Assistant/Exhibit Coordinator, a two-year appointment during which she will curate the exhibit program in Ginter Gallery II (located in the Kelly Education Center hallway, outside of the Robins Library.  Roxy is pursuing her MFA in photography and film at VCU, and holds a BFA in photography from the Tyler School of Arts, Philadelphia.  Her current work as an artist focuses on memories of gardens from her childhood as well as newly explored gardens, and she transforms those images into digitally altered experiences.  Roxy comes to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with a great background in gallery administration in the Philadelphia area, and high energy and enthusiasm for our botanically-based exhibit program.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the garden?

A: This is tough. I would have to say the Cochrane Rose Garden. I used to spend my summers in California and one of my uncles had the most fragrant roses growing in his small backyard. The Garden and the fragrance brings me back to that space where my imagination was growing and those fond memories. Also, Butterflies LIVE! is one of the most magical butterfly exhibits I have visited. It is truly wonderful.

Q: Tell us something that surprising about you that (people) your coworkers might not know.

A:  I am definitely a bit of a glasses nerd. I love spectacles! Since I have been “blessed” with poor vision, I have been wearing glasses for at least 15 years and am always looking for funky designs. Flea markets and eccentric vintage shops often have a nice treasure or two. I currently wear a replica of a popular vintage design in pale pink. One of my most exciting finds.

Q: Where did you work before you came to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden?

A: I worked for an amazing, woman-owned ethical jewelry company in Philadelphia for 2 years as their creative coordinator, which included product photography, marketing/advertising, and fun projects like jewelry lookbooks. Before that, I interned and worked at a few galleries in the Philadelphia area.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: When I am not in the studio or out photographing, I love to go out to eat!

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. It was close enough to the city to experience the rich offerings of the city, but far enough to live a more quiet lifestyle. I had a lovely garden at home. My brother and I were growing everything. I would grow heirloom vegetables, zinnias, and sunflowers, and my brother would grow 35 varieties of tomatoes, quince, and even pawpaw trees. Actually, I heard through the grapevine that Richmond is full of pawpaw trees by the river. My brother introduced me to this custardy, tropical fruit and it is hands-down my favorite fruit!

Q: What part of Richmond do you live in?

A: The Fan. I love it there!

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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