When people think of Los Angeles, it isn’t usually a bountiful landscape teeming with public fruit trees that comes to mind. But the artists of Fallen Fruit – Austin Young and David Burns – are working with local communities to transform the neighborhoods surrounding Downtown Los Angeles into a walk-able network of Urban Fruit Trails. Starting this month Heart of LA (HOLA) will collaborate with Fallen Fruit to create the City’s very first Urban Fruit Trail: over 150-fruit trees planted in the MacArthur Park neighborhood.
HOLA students will research where the trees can be planted, plant them, and then map their location. During weekly workshops with Fallen Fruit, HOLA’s young artists will create site-specific artworks based on the places, people, cultures, and trees they discover along the Trail; and their actions and artworks will be documented and geo-tagged in a free downloadable app.
The MacArthur Park Urban Fruit Trail is the pilot for Endless Orchard, Fallen Fruit’s groundbreaking global-scale public art project, which will provide often-overlooked urban communities with public walking trails lined by fruit trees. The trees will be planted, sustained, nurtured and harvested by the public. “We’re thrilled that our students are creating the roots for such a significant project,” said HOLA Visual Arts Director Nara Hernandez. “Fruit trails can create an abundant neighborhood and celebrate a community of sharing,” explained Austin Young. “It’s about transforming our relationship to the city and each other,” added David Burns.
Urban Fruit Trails invite the people of Los Angeles to experience the City as a fruitful place, to collectively re-imagine the function of public participation and urban space, and to explore the meaning of community through creating and sharing new and abundant resources. The fruit trees planted along the Urban Fruit Trail will reflect the natural ripening of fruit during a season: plums and peaches in the summer, pomegranate and persimmon in the fall, and citrus – lime, lemon, orange, and kumquat – over the winter and spring. At the heart of LA’s Urban Fruit Trails a “Monument to Sharing” will be installed at the Los Angeles State Historic Park alongside an orchard of citrus trees.
Endless Orchard is a Creative Capital awarded project. This pilot project, Urban Fruit Trails, is supported by a grant awarded to HOLA by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program, which supports fearless and innovative collaborations in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg: www.rauschenbergfoundation.org.
Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work: https://fallenfruit.org/about/
Heart of Los Angeles provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education, and strengthen their communities: http://heartofla.org Fruit as public resource: http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/del-aire-fruit-park.html
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