It’s time to EAT!

Last year's EAT bee box sculpture at the Wasatch Community Gardens.

Last year’s E.A.T. bee box sculpture at the Wasatch Community Gardens.

Summertime at UMOCA is no different from summertime anywhere else in Utah: It involves sunshine, gardening, the community, and everything local—and it means that it’s time for Eat Art Together (E.A.T.).

Now in its second year, E.A.T. is UMOCA’s community outreach program that brings together two of our most-beloved things: art and food. The initiative is a reimagining of the land, city, and community. UMOCA pairs local artists, designers, and horticulturalists with community partners, and together, they create functional, public art pieces made from repurposed and recycled materials that serve as improvements to each site.

“E.A.T. exists in the overlap of art and sustainable functional design,” says Jared Steffensen, UMOCA’s Curator of Outreach and Public Programs. “We encourage our artists to not only think about the aesthetic qualities of the work, but also to consider how they become beneficial to our partners’ community gardens.”

This year, UMOCA is working with Red Butte Garden’s horticulturalist, Fritz Kollmann, who designed the large community garden installation—featuring only plants that are edible, in one way or another—that is sitting right outside of the museum in the sculpture courtyard. UMOCA has also paired Nathan Lane, designer of the “Bike Spring” pop-up park in the 2015 Downtown Garden Stroll, with Wasatch Community Gardens. Lane will create a water catchment sculpture for Wasatch’s new community garden, which is located at 337 S. 400 E.

Featured in UMOCA's courtyard garden installation, this sunset hibiscus has edible leaves and flowers.

Featured in UMOCA’s courtyard garden installation, this sunset hibiscus has edible leaves and flowers.

E.A.T. explores contemporary concepts and impacts of sustainability—of urban farming, food production, horticulture, and more. Throughout the growing season, UMOCA and its partners will host a series of educational components, which may include anything from bike tours to sustainable urban living workshops to art activities.

Most importantly, E.A.T. generates an environment of communal exchange and collaboration as a  productive and sustainable way to tie the community together. So, let’s E.A.T.!

E.A.T. is sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Grandeur Peak Funds and Walmart Store #4208.

To support and help UMOCA expand community outreach initiatives such as E.A.T., please consider a donation to UMOCA.
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