Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sky in the Pie Mural #1

Last week the first Sky in the Pie mural went up at 25th and Mission. I was helped by teens with a drill, a ladder, a lot of rope, and muscles. Up it went. The previous month, my crew and I surveyed one hundred people in the neighborhood about food and farming. Mural #1 has eight of these folks along with their answers to our icebreaker question: What is your favorite kind of pie? At the opening, an urban barn dance inside the Mission Pie shop spilled out onto the sidewalk. Some fiesta. Yeehaw. Three more murals to come.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ag Flag

This weekend, I participated in the 2nd Annual Farm Art Show at Freewheelin' Farm on the North Coast of Santa Cruz county. On a one acre plot, Amy Courtney and Kirstin Yogg (top photo) harvest enough organic produce for 38 families and deliver it all by bicycle. Post-
petroleum farming, yee haw.

Answers to the question, "If you could thank a farmer..." from my current Sky in the Pie Mural Project, inspired me to create a Tibetan-style prayer flag for farmers. Freewheelin' Farm guests were invited to add their own "ag flag" to this gratitude clothesline. At sunset we left the installation to fray and fade, a reminder of the Great Impermanence, with a magnificent Pacific Ocean
as backdrop.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If you could thank a farmer...

The Sky in the Pie Mural Project proceeds apace. Last week we finished asking 100 people near the corner of 25th and Mission Streets in San Francisco ten questions about food, farming, and pie. We're done with the research phase. Let the production begin!

This is Jeff, a local tatoo artist, whose family used to farm in Sicily. He was the second person we interviewed. We gave him a piece of pie and a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SF Arts Commission Grant Awarded

I received a 2007 Cultural Equity Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to create the Sky in the Pie Mural Series outside San Francisco's Mission Pie Bakery and Cafe. Cafe owner Karen Heisler and her partners at Pie Ranch connect urban and rural communities through their work/study programs and they serve some of the best pie this side of my Grandma Alice's basement.

Since the fall equinox, I've been a slave to the fleeting light of autumn. My crew Javier, Ammo, JJ and I have been taking pictures and asking questions about food and farming of people we meet around 25th and Mission Streets. From this raw data, I'll create a book and five murals between now and the 2008 summer solstice. We are up to 75 portraits and are aiming for 100 before daylight savings time kicks in on November 4th. Stay tuned.

Her favorite kind of pie? "Any type of pie."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Neelam's Daughter/ Mark's Pie

To combat my despair when George Bush was re-elected, I dug deeper into food and farming projects, finding solace and wisdom in the simple fact that we all must eat. Neelam's Daughter is one of my favorite outtakes from the Produce to the People feature for Sierra Magazine. I was trying to keep up with former Black Panther Neelam Sharma and her crew as they lay irrigation pipe for the apple tree saplings they had planted in a schoolyard in South Central LA.

Mark's Pie came out of a Sierra Club Building Bridges to the Outdoors commission. I taught photography to a group of high school students who were learning about their food system by planting, growing, harvesting, baking, serving, and eating their way through pie.

Haas Grant Awarded

Working title: The Cantilever Project. I was awarded an Individual Artist's Commission from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. I am producing large scale photographs for their San Francisco headquarters and a multimedia piece for their Web site. To document the work of such a wide-ranging, philanthropic community builder... What a challenge. What an honor.

You Can't Do It Alone, a 2003 bus shelter poster project supported by the Haas Fund, was displayed during Breast Health Awareness Month exactly four years ago. I collaborated with the Margie Cherry Complementary Breast Health Center, writer Laurie Wagner and Supernatural Design on this one.