Garden As Gallery

A new art installment teaches New Yorkers how to grow their own organic food.

| September/October 2008

  • Participants learn to plant and grow their own food using endangered seeds.

Artist Leah Gauthier’s newest “installment” is not what you would expect to find at an art gallery. Sharecropper is a combination of performance and conceptual art that uses parcels of donated land—all less than an acre—to show New Yorkers how they can collectively grow their own organic food, specifically with endangered seeds. Using both private and public spaces scattered around the city’s five boroughs, Gauthier will create one large farm tied together virtually through her website,

Gauthier hopes to prove that you don’t need a large backyard to grow your own food. “I picked New York because it seemed like the most challenging space,” she says. “We can’t continue to depend on the industry to steward our agricultural needs.”

The garden project aims to build community and narrow the gap between people and their food sources. During the microfarm’s harvest, Gauthier also will hold cooking demonstrations so participants can taste a bit of what she hopes won’t become history.

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