July 18, 2013

GREEN ACRES Spotlight: “Soil Olympics” and the Art-Farmers Who Make it Possible


Permaganics Co.

If you thought all dirt was the same, think again!  Angela and Luke Ebner can show you eleven different soil recipes within a 50 mile radius of the AAC! Their installation for the GREEN ACRES exhibition, Soil Olympics, shows how eleven local organic farms use different soil recipes to produce their the organic soil from in the DC Metro area.

Angela and Luke Ebner both earned their Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts before they found themselves immersed in the field of ecology and agriculture in the state of Ohio. After working for a youth program with Eco Garden and the Recycle Youth Program, in 2010 they created Permaganic Company; the company supports a Youth Internship program, Permaganic Authentication certificate program, and produce vendor. Permaganic was commissioned to be a part of the GREEN ACRES venture in the effort to spread their messages about permaculture, and thus Soil Olympics came to be an exciting part of this exhibition!

Angela and Luke Ebner, "Soil Olympics," 2013, Permagenics, Live Green Planet
Angela and Luke Ebner, “Soil Olympics,” 2013

Soil Olympics is an interactive art installation that showcases eleven different local organic farms from the greater Arlington area. Eleven homemade glass vitrines, containing both a sample of soil and various produce, line a table in the gallery; attached to the table are the phrases SMELL ME, TASTE ME, and EAT ME: instructions that ask viewers to experience the soils with more than just their eyes so they can compare the organic matter. These soil samples not only encourage organic farming, but also emphasize the geological differences among areas surrounding Washington D.C. Adjacent to the vitrines are the “soil recipes” for each farm.

Regional map pin-pointing where all the participating farms are located
Regional map pin-pointing where all the participating farms are located

Soil Olympics also asks viewers to go to the actual farms that donated the samples for the exhibition. A color-coordinated map located on the wall next to the soil display pin-points where each of the represented farms are located. We hope that everyone takes advantage of this resource and visits the participating farms!

Soil Olympics at the Arlington Arts Center would not have been possible if it was not for the generous soil and produce donations of eleven of our area’s finest organic farms and farmers. The participating farmers include the following:

-Written by Carolyn Bauer, Curatorial Intern at the Arlington Arts Center

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award

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