Coastal Marin Artists Gallery

Streetside Greens: Mapping a Foodscape

October 2 - November 14, 2010

Curated by Dieter Tremp

Mickey Murch

Second generation organic farmer of Gospel Flats Farm in Bolinas, Mickey Murch returned to his family’s farm and brought innovation and energetic new ideas.

Mickey Murch considers the process of growing vegetables and getting them into the family kitchens of his community to be a continuous conceptual art piece. While taking art courses at Reed College in Oregon, Murch discovered his most important and communicative material- hand made food. Using the materials he grew, preserved and displayed as art, he eventually took his goods to the street with mobile kitchens where the foods became public sustenance to body  and mind .

Returning to the farm where he grew up, Murch looked for more ways to expand the farm into community. He sees his Bolinas roadside farm stand, a twenty-four hour self-service market, as the place where  the healing sustenance of his labor is available to everyone. To Murch, farming is art, and the bins of potatoes, lettuces, greens and seasonal produce are an interactive installation. What he makes available is ready for the next person’s creative process of creating food for family and friends.

Seeking to explore how my family farmland intersects with the larger systems that feed and supply a community, my work brings me to the street.  Every morning standing in the field, I am shaken by a dozen trucks that charge up the road delivering products from afar.  Meanwhile, my cousin and I fill a battered farm-truck with produce and idle it over to our road-side vegetable stand. Slowing and shortening the path this food must travel is my effort to redefine these roads. By infusing our streets with the products and ideas of their borders, I aim to connect a community to its edible landscape.                  

-Mickey Murch
This installation explores the patterns of field and street. The marginalized yet significant processes of food production are ones we depend on, and rarely see or understand. By projecting these processes into the street, we are able to cross-examine two systems of food production and transportation, systems that provide for and define our society.  As we enter a new era of ecological sensitivity and local sufficiency, I aim to inspire an interaction and agency with the land around us. Within our community’s gardens, fields and kitchens, we just may find the link between sustainability and happiness.
In this Bolinas Museum  installation, Murch focuses  on the materials and process of growing lettuce. Playing with the concepts of farming and the organizational patterns that connect the farm to the consumer’s table, Murch has literally projected his farming process onto the street in order to illuminate the structures that connect community, those generally unseen such as the farm, and those that prevail, such as the road. Murch uncovers his process on the farm through a series of conceptual maps– drawings in light boxes, collage and video projection as he brings the field and the farmer’s mind into the gallery.