Art Goes to Market: The Edible Garden combines food, art and sustainability

story by Jon McGoranLocal artist Meei-Ling Ng is no stranger to farmers markets, both as a participating farmer and as a frequent customer. But for the first time, on June 15 at the Headhouse Square Craft & Fine Arts Fair, her artful interpretation of the farmers market will be part of the market itself. “The Edible Garden” is a series of acrylic paintings of vegetable and fruit cross sections on recycled concrete. A sampling of the work is pictured above as part of an installation at the Elkins Estate garden in Elkin’s Park, where it was displayed next to the vegetable beds.

“The whole idea is to set up an installation like a farmer vendor display, with my new works on baskets, boxes, etc., looking like a real farmer vendor selling vegetables,” Ng explains. “Customers can pick and buy what they like, and they can put them in their outdoor garden or display indoors. I also see this idea as an opportunity for an interactive installation work with visitors in a farmers market environment.”

Environmental issues are a recurring theme in Ng’s work. “I am an artist, an organic farmer and a nature lover, and I care about these factors and how it is all connected to sustainability,” she explains. “My main goal is to use my art installations as a tool to learn about preserving nature, sustainable living and organic urban farming. To draw people’s attention and look closely at these issues. These are the factors that inspire and motivate me to continue creating art. I want to create art to get the sustainability message out.”

This will be the 45th year for Headhouse Square Craft & Fine Arts Fair, held by the Creative Collective at the Historic Headhouse Square at 2nd & Pine St., in Society Hill, Philadelphia. The show will take place under shelter of the Headhouse Shambles pavilion, rain or shine. The exhibit will be one day only, Sat., June 15 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public. For more on Ng’s work, visit meeiling.com.