Habitat for Artists Collective

FOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

An exhibition of upstate/downstate NY artists who work with food and agriculture
Curated by Amy Lipton, ecoartspace
Smack Mellon
92 Plymouth Street at Washington
Brooklyn, NY 11201
June 7 to July 27, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, June 7, 5pm-8pm

Artists: Joan Bankemper/Black Meadow Barn;  Joy Garnett; Habitat For Artists Collective (Simon Draper, Michael Asbill, Carmen Acuna, Dan McGinley, Brandon Cruz, Jessica Poser, Lisa Breznak and Sean Corcoran); Natalie Jeremijenko; Kristyna and Marek Milde; Peter Nadin/Old Field Farm; Leila Nadir + Cary Peppermint (EcoArtTech); Andrea Reynosa, Brooklyn Grange and Alloy; Bonnie Ora Sherk; Jenna SpevackSusan Leibovitz Steinman/Mona Talbott; Tattfoo Tan; Elaine Tin Nyo; Linda Weintraub

FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action focuses on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists’ use of food as subject matter or medium. The exhibition and programming include 14 exhibiting artists in the gallery at Smack Mellon, 3 public projects in the nearby DUMBO community, as well as public workshops in collaboration with the artists in the exhibition. The gallery exhibition features artworks and inventive projects around agriculture and food that address farming as both activism and art form. Many of the artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work and are exploring the real-world implications of small-scale farming and raising community awareness about our food systems. Their varied practices include growing food, cooking food, raising animals for food, and engaging communities around local food production as well as instigating new artist-based economies.

The artists working in New York State today in the realm of food and farming coincide with a larger cultural awakening regarding the ills of our present system, such as the distances food travels to supermarket shelves and the effects of shipping and transport on climate change. Brooklyn has become the epicenter for food activism and culinary explorations. Artists have joined food activists in focusing on environmental problems such as lack of biodiversity in mono-cultural farms, the loss of top soil and nutrient-poor soil, the abuse and poor conditions of feedlot and factory raised animals, the conversion of farmland into housing, and the waste of un-harvested crops. Artists are now farming not only to raise their own food in order to become self-reliant and to eat more healthily, but also to offer alternative and sustainable approaches within their local communities.

For the artists in FOODshed, the acts of cultivation, growing, and by implication educating have evolved to a deeper level of activism where the boundaries of real world and art completely disappear. Their projects present new paradigms regarding the growing, production, distribution and consumption of food. The artists in this exhibition advocate for an organic, regional and local approach, which they are manifesting in their own lives.

Patricia Watts, founder and curator of ecoartspace will moderate FOODprint, a panel discussion on food and climate to investigate the current national debate about our food systems and the intersection of farming, culture and climate as it relates to the Upstate/NYC focus of the FOODshed exhibition. Panelists: Jennifer Grossman, Famer/NRDC Food Systems Advocate; Ben Flanner, Farmer, Brooklyn Grange; Josh Morgenthau, Farmer and Entrepreneur Good Eggs; Linda Weintraub, Artist/Writer; Tattfoo Tan, Artist; John Gorzynski, Farmer, Gorzynski Ornery Farm.

FOODshed will offer workshops at Smack Mellon in collaboration with the artists in the exhibition and With Food in Mind, a nomadic organization operating at the intersection of food, visual culture, and social change that develops drop-in workshops, afterschool classes, and other educational programs that dynamically combine art and food. Check the Smack Mellon website for further information on workshops here. 

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ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

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Soho Night and ecoartspace NYC project room opening March 5th and 7th

On Thursday March 5th ecoartspace will join with several other NYC non-profit art spaces for Soho Night. There will be special events, exhibitions and programs from 6 – 10 pm. (see list) For this event ecoartspace will stay open until 8pm so please visit us on the early side.

The public opening for the new ecoartspace NYC project room at 53 Mercer Street in Soho will be on Saturday March 7th from 12 -6pm.

The first ecoartspace project at Mercer St will be Simon Draper’s work with the Habitat for Artists Collective which began in Summer 08 in Beacon, NY. In that original Habitat for Artists project Simon Draper supplied each artist with a basic shed (6 x 6′ with doors, window and skylight). These collaborative works take the form of sheds, that literally functioned as temporary studio spaces and came outfitted with doors, windows and skylight. The materials used in the creation of the structures consists of reclaimed components and each artist in the collective creatively adapted their shed to suit their own needs. (read more details in the November 13th blog post on the HFA project).

For this new version of HFA, Draper’s collaborators include artists Chris Albert, Richard Bruce, Sharon L. Butler, Ryan Cronin, Kathy Feighery, Marnie Hillsley, Matthew Kinney, Grace Knowlton, Michael Natiello, Sara Mussen, Steven Rossi, Todd Sargood, Matthew Slaats, Lynn Stein, Dar Williams, Grey Zeien, Donald Kimmel and Flying Swine live Theater.

ecoartspace has been operating bi-coastally, with Amy Lipton in New York and Patricia Watts in the San Francisco bay area. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and due to a growing presence and increased demand for ecoartspace’s unique brand of environmentalism, the time has come to open an office in New York City.

ecoartspace is part of a growing community of artists, designers, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. The new Soho office space will promote a diverse range of artists whose works are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and educational. Future programs and events will include exhibitions, discussions, screenings and workshops.

“Artists today are breaking out of traditional confines of what is considered art and engaging in real world issues. By implementing a participatory structure with the diverse people that make up communities––these artists are pointing the way towards a new paradigm of environmental consciousness and sensitivity”, Amy Lipton, Ecovention 2002
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