The Incredible, Edible Jenna Spevack: 8 Extraordinary Greens

The Brooklyn-based artist's new exhibit asks viewers to consider the value of food

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Participatory exhibit to explore urban agriculture.
Explore urban agriculture in small spaces at this Chelsea gallery. (Photo by: Jenna Spevack)

Brooklyn-based Jenna Spevack is an artist, foodie and sustainability advocate who combines all of these passions simultaneously in her work.

Her ideas are conceived in a studio residing in a corner of a 45,000-square-foot space on the top floor of the seven-story building known as the Metropolitan Exchange, or MEx, on Flatbush Avenue. The building’s rich history boasts a variety of creative entrepreneurs who let their genius juices flow.

With roots in permaculture certification and master composting training, Spevack’s artwork, specifically in her 8 Extraordinary Greens exhibit, is informed by thoughts on urban agriculture and the value of growing food in small, urban spaces.

“My initial idea with [my training] was to run away from New York and live in the woods, in some way more in line with natural life,” she says in a GOOD article. “But I realized that New York City needs permaculture more than any other place.”

Pieces of everyday furniture double as mini microgreen farms; while the exhibit is aesthetically pleasing, it also challenges viewers about the value of food and encourages them to interact with the work by leaving with some greens after donating to one of five food causes. By sitting down at one of the desks (also part of the exhibit), Spevack or one of the gallery employees invites viewers to donate what they determine the value of one ounce of greens to be. Viewers then receive a portion of the greens to take home or leave to be given to a food pantry. The interactions are recorded on a “receipt,” a print signed by both the viewer and Spevack that is then sealed with wax.

The exhibit 8 Extraordinary Greens opened earlier this month at the Chelsea gallery Mixed Greens. Go and check it out now!

Image courtesy of Jenna Spevack.