Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

The art of mini-farming

December 14th, 2018

Umbrella with soil and seedlings inside

Image courtesy of Micah Donovan

Imagine a farm. You’re likely not picturing arugula growing out of a shoe or herbs sprouting in an umbrella. But the fact that food can be grown almost anywhere is the motivation behind Lost and Farmed, the AGO Youth Council’s creative collaboration with local artist Micah Donovan.

Inspired by our exhibition Anthropocene, which explores the human impact on Earth (open until January 6), this new youth-led project features mini-farms growing in everyday items and you’ll soon spot these throughout the museum.

Over several weeks, the AGO Youth Council and Micah brainstormed about Anthropocene, art and food to come up with a sustainable and artful way to create a delicious meal. They decided to grow their own greens using repurposed long-lost items from our Lost and Found (don’t worry — we keep lost items for a minimum of six months) as planters.

We spoke to Micah to learn more about his experience working with the AGO Youth Council, bringing greenery into the AGO and how Anthropocene inspired this creative project:

AGO: How did you get involved in this AGO Youth Council project?
Micah: I was invited to work with the Youth Council, as I work with food and living plants as part of my art practice. (I was on a TV show called Food Jammers that demystified making basic food items that are often bought at the grocery store. We made bread and pasta from scratch and roasted our coffee beans.) I brought the suggestion of combining art and food to the Youth Council, who were excited and open to the idea.

AGO: What do you hope AGO visitors take away from Lost and Farmed?
Micah: I hope visitors learn how easy it is to grow your own food almost anywhere. I’m growing pea sprouts and arugula on my window sill right now. I also hope they enjoy the surprising aspect of seeing food living and growing in a toque or shoe that’s in the AGO.

AGO: How did Anthropocene inspire this project?
Micah: The exhibition is all about expanding our view of what it means to be human on this Earth. With Lost and Farmed, we’re making a small, positive gesture to reduce our environmental impact and consider our relationship with the food we eat.

Find Lost and Farmed at the AGO from December 19 to early January 2019 on Level 1 in Walker Court and the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium, on Level 2 outside Anthropocene in Irina Moore West and on the Lower Level near the Weston Family Learning Centre. Lost and Farmed is included in General Admission.

Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Comments are closed.