Thursday, August 9, 2012

Opening Reception for Chicago's Twelve at Garfield Park Conservatory!

Last nights opening reception for Chicago's Twelve at Garfield Park Conservatory was wonderful.  All the artwork blends beautifully with the plants.

Here I am standing with my piece, Monsanto's Genetically Modified Crops.  This is my first outdoor sculpture I have ever made and it was a real challenge to figure out, but it has withstood a pretty awful storm a few days ago and nothing has been damaged.  I look forward to creating more outside sculptures!  These piece has been an amazing learning experience.

My piece Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables.  This is also my first time making site-specific installations.  The Garfield Park Conservatory is a very warm, humid, and wet location so I and the other artists had many elements to consider when making our work.  This has been an awesome opportunity to grow as an artist!

In this photo is 8 of the 12 artists and Sergio Gomez, the curator of the show.  

We each had a chance to tell everyone a bit about our work.

Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables

Heirloom fruits and vegetables are plants that have been grown for about 50 to 100 years or more before large-scale agriculture began.  Heirloom plants are open-pollinated, meaning they have been naturally pollinated by insects, birds or wind.  The produce found in grocery stores are usually hybridized to make them more disease and pest resistant so they can be grown in mass quantities with less hassle.  These fruits and vegetables are also chosen for their longer shelf stability.  This way of picking and choosing leaves many varieties of fruits and vegetables unknown to us that are often richer in flavor and largely diverse.

Monsanto's Genetically Modified Crops

Inside these jars are the 8 genetically modified crops Monsanto produces and sells at an incredibly large scale.  This includes corn, wheat, soybeans, canola, cotton, sugarbeets, alfalfa and sorghum.  The seeds they sell to farmers have had their DNA manipulated to make the plant resistant to specific pests, diseases or environmental conditions.  This piece serves as a reminder to recognize the history and future of these 8 crops.

Chicago's Twelve will be at Garfield Park Conservatory until December 9th.  We will also be having an artist talk at the Garfield Park Conservatory on October 24 from 6 to 8pm for Chicago Artists Month.

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