Soil City events: October 22 + 24, 2015

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Resident Artist Jennifer Stratton and PlatteForum ArtLab Students Share Their Discoveries of Denver’s Changing Landscape, Foodways and People

DENVER – PlatteForum is delighted to announce their first artist exhibition opening of the 2015/2016 season, which will include two events on Thursday, October 22, 2015 and Saturday, October 24, 2015 at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street, Denver, CO. These events will launch a two-week public exhibition of resident artist Jennifer Stratton’s work alongside a body of work by PlatteForum ArtLab students. Entitled “Soil City,” the exhibit will feature soil-based portraits of the city through film, dirt, food and community.

SOIL CITYsoil-based portraits of the city through film, dirt, food and community – opening events include:

Artist Talk and Screening with Jennifer Stratton and PlatteForum ArtLab students
Thursday, October 22
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Soil Social
Saturday, October 24
12 p.m. (noon) – 3 p.m.

All events are open and free to the public.

Soil City is the culmination of Jennifer Stratton’s residency, which included six weeks of workshops with PlatteForum’s Art Lab students to discover Denver’s changing landscape, foodways and people by creating a series of living soil-based portraits of Denver that collectively compose (and decompose) a tapestry of our urban landscape. Engaging the dynamic cityscape of Denver, Stratton explored representations of place at the intersection of personal ethnography, image making and environmental alchemy with ArtLab youth through a series of Learning Lab sessions, including urban foraging walks, collecting soil samples, tastings and recipe exchanges.

In this exhibit, PlatteForum is transformed into a vibrant arena filled with dirt, art and ideas that ask us to question our soil and food systems in this urban environment.

The Soil Bank is an evolving collection and exchange of community soils and stories. Urban soils do not merely provide sites for new construction and infrastructure, but also determine the quality of human health, local climate, water supply, safe waste storage, plant and animal habitats, and can even provide the source of nutrition and food production for the city’s population. Soil City includes the first Denver Soil Bank, a participatory public art project examining our relationship to the ground beneath our feet and experimental film where 16mm footage was manipulated through the processes of fermentation, cold brewed, brined and cold smoked.

About the Artist
An artist and environmental researcher whose work incorporates issues of ecology, agriculture and soil science, Jennifer Stratton has an MFA from Duke University, is a participant in the International Year of Soils and upcoming Grow Food Symposium. With her recent investigations Stratton seeks to critically analyze historical transformations and non-traditional modes of food production that are typically deemed “strange” or “inedible.” Through making and sharing this work she is interested in how the physical properties of soil can communicate intangible connections between individuals, communities, and the material world.

About ArtLab
Winner of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award, ArtLab is an innovative year-round out-of-school program for underserved high school youth that incorporate the creative arts with academic, personal and professional skill development. ArtLab youth are involved in the creation and presentation of major works, mentored by professional artists, participate in workshops directed by visiting artists, mentor younger at-risk children during Learning Lab workshops held at PlatteForum and participate in service-learning projects.

About PlatteForum
PlatteForum’s artist residencies offer time, space, and resources for professional artists to create new work and shape an experience where young people can learn through practice, expanding their sense of what is possible. During each residency, PlatteForum teams the artist with small groups of young people from neighborhoods throughout Denver to produce and exhibit a collaborative body of work. This award-winning nonprofit organization provides a nurturing space where creativity and artistic excellence are highly valued and where artists and youth work together to model the creative process, emphasizing the connections between their artistic passion, significant life experiences, and public issues. The overall experience transforms the lives of the youth, the artists and the community. For more information visit www.platteforum.org.


This project is supported by a generous grant from the Get Grounded Foundation.


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