What We Sow

About The Project


Lucy + Jorge Orta

Completion Date

5 October 2013


Various Locations (see below)

Marking its 30th-year anniversary, Mural Arts is looking back at its history and looking forward towards participatory projects that explore the social and experimental dimension of art in public space.

What We Sow takes the future of Mural Arts beyond a genre-specific format and expands on the social and civic foundation of the mural tradition by addressing the relationship between local communities, regional ecologies, global economies, and the politics of food production.

By working with contemporary artists who are at the forefront of public art, and of community-based co-production, Mural Arts aims to catalyze new networks and new participants from all social backgrounds who have a shared interest in finding spaces for civic engagement based on active dialogue and collective experience.

The Season

From June to October 2013 the Mural Arts Program will host and collaborate with partnering organizations to provide opportunities for the Philadelphia community to explore the world of heirloom foods. We invite everyone to join us in this season of What We Sow through workshops, artist talks, tastings, cooking demonstrations, tours and other events.

See our full calendar of events (below) for details.

The Meal

What We Sow will culminate on October 5th, 2013 with 70X7 The Meal, act XXXIV, a collaboration between Mural Arts and internationally renowned artists, Lucy + Jorge Orta. This visual and performance art piece will gather people around a communal table to engage in conversation about the issues of heirloom foods and their role in creating a healthier food system. The Meal will feature a simple menu of heirloom produce created by Chef Marc Vetri and catered by Cescaphe Event Group.

Attend events throughout The Season to be entered into a lottery for a chance to win two free tickets to The Meal. The lottery will close on September 7th and winners will be notified by September 10th.

This project represents an opportunity to ask the difficult, but necessary, questions about food access and food quality:

  • What is the history of our food?
  • What are our cultural connections to food?
  • What can we learn from the new foods brought with people immigrating here?
  • Does a more diverse food supply offer potential for a more sustainable agriculture system?
  • How can heirloom crops be used to address nutrition and food access in the Philadelphia area?

About Lucy + Jorge Orta

Lucy + Jorge Orta are renowned for creating multi-disciplinary works of art that explore critical social and ecological needs and systems. They first conceived of the 70x7 communal table event in 2000 as a way to directly engage their audiences in the public art-making process, and to highlight dialogue as a central part of their social art practice. This project is an incredible opportunity to bring these innovative thinkers to Philadelphia, a city renowned for its progressive restaurant scene, food policies and programs, and to engage people from all backgrounds in a participatory and immersive artwork.