One year ago wematched 14 artists with 13 CSA farms in and around central Maine. All through the 2012 growing season, participating artists visited their farms and created art inspired by their farmers’ lives, work, landscapes, challenges and ideals. January 2013 marks the end of CSA: Community Supporting Arts with art exhibitions opening in Belfast on January 4th at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery and UMaine’s Hutchinson Center; and in at Frontier in Brunswickon January 11th.
CSA: Community Supporting Arts opens Friday, January 11th from 5-8 pm, at Frontierlocated in the Fort Andross Mill at 14 Maine Street in Brunswick. The exhibition at Frontier will be on view through February 24, 2013
The 14 participating artists are: Kate Barnes of Oakland, Susan Bickford of Newcastle, Aleana Chaplin of Gardiner, Kim Christensen of Albion, Matt Demers of Gardiner, Kerstin Engman of Liberty, Tyler Gulden of Walpole, Christine Higgins of Readfield, Kelsey Kobik of Portland, Scott Minzy of Pittston, Maina Handmaker of Brunswick, Petrea Noyes of Lincolnville, Jamie Ribisi-Braley of Manchester and Emily Trenholm of Portland.
The 13 CSA farms are: Annabessacook Farm in Winthrop, Crescent Run Farm in Bremen, Dig Deep Farm in Dresden, Crescent Run Farm in Bremen, Fresh Start Farms in Lisbon, Goranson Farm in Dresden, Grassland Organic Farm in Skowhegan, Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner, Milkweed Farm in Brunswick, Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle, SNAFU Acres Farm in Monmouth, Treble Ridge Farm in Whitefield, Wholesome Holmstead in Winthrop, mabd Winterberry Farm in Belgrade.
There are currently two other ongoing CSA: Community Supporting Arts exhibits: at Crosstrax Deli at 215 Depot Street in Unity, on view through January 26; and atSavory Maine Dining and Provisions, 11 Water Street, Damariscotta on view through February 5th.
TheCSA: Community Supporting Arts exhibition series began at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell this past October, followed by two exhibitions in November at Common Street Arts in Waterville and Sheepscot General in Whitefield.
The goal of CSA: Community Supporting Arts is to promote and celebrate our local art and local food cultures. Maine’s artist and farming communities are vibrant, idealistic groups, both key to our state’s unique sense of place. The project organizers, Harlow Gallery, home of the Kennebec Valley Art Association (KVAA) and the Kennebec Local Food Initiative (KLFI), believe that artists can use the power of their artistic voices to effect social change. The KVAA is a membership based 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to “connect and celebrate art, artists and community”. The KVAA owns and operates the Harlow Gallery in downtown Hallowell. KLFI is an organization based in Gardiner that strives to strengthen community food security through access, education, information and advocacy. Visit harlowgallery.org and the project blog site (csaart.org) for more information on the artists, farms, and the project in general. For information on KLFI visit klfi.org.
Starting last March 2012 the artists visited their farms regularly during the growing season, creating art inspired by the farmers’ lives, work, landscapes, challenges and ideals. The partnering farmers all operate CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms, which provide produce to the members who make a financial commitment by investing in a share of the produce at the beginning of the growing season. In return farmers are committed to producing the freshest, most flavorful, high quality food possible for their members (most CSA farms adhere to organic standards as much as possible). Typically each CSA member gets a weekly delivery of produce from early summer through harvest. CSA is a grassroots response to the growing social and environmental problems of our modern industrial food system, and this local foods movement is transforming relationships between people, food and farms.