Art and the urban farm

It’s not every day that you get a record in the mail directly from the record label, excitedly tear open the box, discover an image your wife painted on the album cover, enjoy the music of a good friend, and relish the entire experience. It’s just so stinking cool.

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The original painting is currently being auctioned off on Ebay, which ends Monday. The original work really is impressive in person.

Charlie on easel

I’m looking forward to recording a podcast with Charlie Parr tomorrow. He’ll probably play a few licks on the guitar, spin some yarns from his recent tour, talk about his childhood, and maybe even play some old records on the turntable that were influential. I don’t really have a format or any expectations, so it’ll be pretty unvarnished.

I’m loving the symbiosis of different art forms, and plan to explore this further alongside and within the context of urban farming. Here are three quick paintings from a series Shawna is working on that I consider to be pure “vegetable propaganda.”

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We’ll be selling these as prints for $20 each (8 X 10 in). I plan on launching the farm’s website within the next week or so while making these available as a kind of good swift KICK in the pants STARTER. The goal will be to raise enough funds to buy specific farm implements.

I can’t say enough about just how fun it is to partner with Shawna on this project. Her odd imagination lends itself perfectly to this kind of thing. She cranks these ideas out of her mind like sausages, and has many more in the pipeline. Our tagline might be something along the lines of, “Promoting vegetable awareness.” What might sound boring on the surface, becomes tremendously exciting through her whimsical touch. This is going to be a  bonafide family business that we all  pitch in on together.

We’ll grow food on the farm, but we’ll also celebrate and promote a wider local harvest. The podcast with Charlie Parr, for example, will be housed over there and will fit perfectly into what we’re doing, even though his talents have nothing to do with food. I also hope to feature vegetable-themed works from other artists regularly, while making this into a real community effort. I hope you’ll come along for the ride on this, even if you live thousands of miles away. My goal is for you to be inspired to dive into living more locally, while enjoying the talents of the gifted people who are all around you.

Of course, we also need to make a living on this end. Any artwork sold is going to support the creation of a new urban farm, and more importantly, our family. You can view more examples of Shawna’s work on her website. This piece, “A Place of Her Own,” is still available, though it’ll be hanging in the office of the Mayor of Duluth through June.

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The unsold pieces from her recent show, Land of Wonder are now housed in our basement, which just kills me! Prices have been cut (viewable through the link above), and we’re ready to ship them to you ASAP. We’re also finally able to offer relatively inexpensive prints of all her artwork, which has been an enormous pain to figure out, but is an effort to diversify our income streams. It’s not all listed yet, but we can get anything you like printed on fancy pants archival art paper….

Shawna and I both continue to learn from people further along in our respective fields. Yesterday, in fact, I paid a visit to a vegetable CSA farm in Wrenshall. Being the bundle of nerves that I am these days, that was a calming experience. I recorded a portion of our conversation as another podcast, which’ll be released into the big old internet soon. Stay tuned!

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