Making Art and Jam with Lemons

lemon kid

It’s not often a lemon is considered a canvas. But to the artists David Burns and Austin Young of the collaborative Fallen Fruit, that is exactly what a lemon will be for their next experiment in bringing communities together through, well, fruit.

On Sunday, September 14, at Monteith Park, working without recipes, Fallen Fruit will ask people to sit with others they do not already know and negotiate what kind of jam to make.  If one person has lemons and another figs, a lemon fig jam (with lavender) would be made.  The jam is a social experiment. The Public Fruit Jam will be at the park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Over the past year, they have done the lemonade portrait stand in Santa Barbara, California, Houston, Texas, Athens, Greece. Two others will take place this summer.

Fallen Fruit invites the public to bring homegrown or street-picked fruit and collaborate with us in making a collective fruit jams.  Working without recipes, we ask people to sit with others they do not already know and negotiate what kind of jam to make: if I have lemons and you have figs, we’d make lemon fig jam (with lavender).  Each jam is a social experiment.  Usually held in a gallery or museum, this event forefronts the social and public nature of Fallen Fruit’s work, and we consider it a collaboration with the public as well as each other.
Fallen Fruit’s life’s work and mission is figuring out how fruit can help bring communities together. Since 2004, using photography, video, performance art, and installations, Fallen Fruit has creating colorful, vibrant places in urban settings all over the world. In Los Angeles, they have created Public Fruit Jams, where the public is invited to make jam together, or Nocturnal Fruit Forages, where they lead nighttime neighborhood fruit tours exploring the boundaries of public and private space and fruit tasting. In collaboration with the county, the group also planted the state’s first ever public fruit orchard in Del Aire Park, where residents can pick an orange or kumquat or lemon off the trees.

“The great thing about the lemonade stand is that anyone can do it. There is no money exchanged and so what happens is that is creates a community portrait,” said Burns. “A 5-year-old child and their grandparents can do this project. We are celebrating everyone in a community and they get to enjoy themselves and be who they are. ”

In addition to visiting the lemonade stand, residents and passersby at Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Area can hear about the Park to Playa project, which eventually will create a 13-mile regional trail that will seamlessly connect Kenneth Hahn Park to the bike trails at Playa del Rey. The trail will also include a fruit orchard designed by Fallen Fruit at the intersection of Stocker and Overhill, just below Reuben Ingold Park.


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