Thursday, April 25, 2013

Art (Tonight!) And A Big Month of Announcements

A sneak preview of Junk Food our installation at Gladstone Grow Op / sample of Everywhere Gardens project

Spring is finally here! Nature is coming out of hibernation, and we at the AFC are crawling out of our grant-writing dungeons and into the sunshine. It's been a VERY busy month and we have so much to catch you up on. Here's an update on what's happening with the collective, and what's to come: 

OTF Announces Funding for our Pilot Project!
We are proud to announce that the Ontario Trillium Foundation has granted us funding to support our satellite project the Everywhere Gardens. The Everywhere Gardens is a pilot project based on concepts developed for the Everything Roof, but to take place at several major urban agriculture sites across Toronto.

In collaboration with artists from SKETCH Working Arts, we'll be using salvaged and recycled materials to showcase the artistic possibilities that exist within garden spaces, to spark conversation about creative approaches to food growing and sustainability in our city, and growing fresh organic produce for and with Toronto's communities. These functional sculptures will also be used as educational tools for learning about vertical and organic gardening. We'll be posting a lot more information on this project over the next month, and you can see an example of one of these creations tonight at the Gladstone hotel; read on, friend!

Tonight | Gladstone Grow Op

The AFC is very excited to be participating in the inaugural year of Gladstone Grow Op, a "four-day event to celebrate innovative ideas and conceptual responses to landscape and place across a broad range of creative practices. Grow Op 2013 will facilitate a cross-disciplinary forum for landscape, garden design, art and place making within the vibrant setting of Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood".  

Our installation, Junk Food, is a collaboration between illustrator, artist and About Face art director, Lauren Pirie, multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Mahmood Popal, and About Face garden coordinator, Natalie Boustead. The piece is inspired by themes of urban food production, food security, sustainable design and Toronto heritage and identity. The "urban foodscape" was built using salvaged wood and home-made milk paint, and houses a variety of Toronto-grown heirloom vegetables and herbs. The exhibit opens tonight, with a reception from 6 - 11pm, and runs through Sunday April 28th.
Mahmood Popal, putting it all together

The team surveying progress

Late night drawing at HUNTCLUB photos by Darlene Huynh

Thanks for EVERYTHING! To all of our Amazing Supporters:
It has been a year since our Indiegogo campaign hit its goal, thanks to you, our incredibly supportive community of friends, family and believers in art; sustainability; good, local, accessible, nutritious food and the Everything Roof. Your support has allowed us to bring on the right people to help coordinate funding (the amazing Shawna Caspi), to draw up proper landscape and architectural designs (the amazing Phillip Collins), to plan exciting creative projects and fundraising events (the amazing Rodrigo Marti, Mahmood Popal and the whole amazing crew at SKETCH) and to get through another year of planning and grant-writing. It has now helped to launch our pilot project, the Everywhere Gardens!
While the Everything Roof may still be waiting for the moment, five stories high in the future, we are getting closer to it every day. But we didn't wait to wait to acknowledge our wonderful supporters, so we've made plans with Centre for Social Innovation to design and install dedicated planter sculptures on the soon-to-launch CSI Annex courtyard patio! This installation has been designed to honor our gold level supporters and our community of contributors. Supporters and team members are also acknowledged on the team page of the first stage of our new website, check it out here. And keep watching our blog and newsletter for more news on when you can come join us for an iced-tea amid produce-growing, artist-designed, planters and moss murals. It might be on ground level for now, but it's going to be awesome, and a great foresight of what's to come.