TRUE HARVEST 2020: Throughout October and November 2020, we are connecting the mission of a chosen charity with a curated group of artworks. We really enjoy making the connections between these incredible organizations and these particular pieces of art we are offering.

What makes this week’s charity so inspirational is that it is a unique, dynamic school modeling an ecosystem both on its campus, and creating an even larger ecosystem within the community of Baltimore. At Green Street Academy, the school and the community of West Baltimore join together to create a powerful symbiotic relationship that empowers both.

Founded in 2010, Green Street Academy (GSA) is a 6-12 public charter school located in West Baltimore. Now serving 875 students annually, GSA was designed to transform how scholars prepare for college and careers in the 21st century, through the lens of environmental, human, and personal economic sustainability.

Aside from the strong academic program, the school also teaches students about the process of growing food — and they even have the opportunity to sell the food they’ve grown in pop-up restaurants and at weekly farmers markets. In a number of their educational models and practices, GSA is an innovator, setting an example for schools throughout the country.

For example, in 2016 GSA earned a platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program (LEED ) — the highest rating achievable. It was the first and only school in Baltimore and Maryland and the second-largest building in the world, to earn the honor.

There is a focus on sustainability and the green economy throughout their program. Students get to grow vegetables and flowers on the eight-acre farm behind the school and raise, tend to, and sell tilapia and perch in the aquaponics greenhouse. Yes, the school has a tilapia farm on-site.

I just can’t say enough about how amazing this school is. So please do scroll down to read more about this amazing academy.

Making a connection between Green Street Academy and the artworks featured this week was a little tenuous.  I’m not an artist, not even on the side, but I am creative…and can create a connection between just about anything so here goes…

We have a gorgeous Earl Stroh print from the late 1950s, Vaux-le-Vicomte.

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte was the founding French Formal Garden and the inspiration for Versailles. It is the seminal expression of the Jardin à la Française, the French aesthetic of formal gardens that swept Europe in the 17th century.

At Vaux-le-Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André Le Nôtre and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of the “Louis XIV style” combining architecture, interior design and landscape design.

That Green Street Academy is an impressive building, with gardens and its own tilapia farm may be the only tenuous connection I can make with this Earl Stroh print. But I will say that while the French chateau is the height of hubris, privilege and corruption, Green Street Academy is the pinnacle of humility and the fruits gained by hard work.

Green Street Academy doesn’t look anything like Vaux-le-Vicomte, but neither does this print….Earl Stroh abstracted his subjects whether they be depictions of the Taos Landscape, the Loire River, or this 17th-century garden, to capture the color and mood of the place. Only the title really identifies it.

We also have a beautiful small artwork by Larry Bell whose sale will support GSA or one of our other incredible charities.  The connection?  It’s from Larry’s “Fraction” series.  Remember fractions from school?  Obvious connection.  And the artist’s last name is Bell.  Remember bells from school?

Very obvious connection.  I’m not even trying hard…

I am also offering two gorgeous ceramic cups by Ken Price this week.  There is still one featuring Bill Buckner available in my online shop. When the Dodgers win the World Series next week, you’ll be even happier to own that cup.

These other vessels are larger. The “Baseball Cup” may have been for tequila or mezcal, but these are full size. And while I know someone who drinks their coffee every morning out of a Price cup, please don’t. These are artworks in the shape of cups.  Not cups.

There is a “Green Cup”…so the connection to Green Street Academy is…obvious.

Then there is a “Village Cup”… depicting one of the many villages Ken and his wife Happy visited in Mexico in the mid-1970s.  These visits and the ceramics discovered on their travels there are the inspiration for this series of works that culminated in the exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1978, Happy Curios.

And we can relate this cup to the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”.   Nowhere is that better manifested than in the community of Green Street Academy.



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