Installation and performative visual artist Marie Manski is partnering with Broad Street Ministries Garden Initiative to create a Labyrinth art work in the MEEP (Mercy Emily Edible Park) garden space in South Philadelphia. Manski and I met with Rev. Samantha Evans of BSM last Wednesday to survey the space and talk about the needs of the garden and the community. The garden, originally a project of Philly Food Forests, is a unique neighborhood space that is open to anyone who wishes to participate, at no cost. The space has gotten an excellent start and just needs to be a bit revitalized so that it can really continue to fulfill this vision.
Currently, the garden has significant horticultural and management needs. Growing seasons have already started to be more organized and harvesting is getting under control. Community solidarity and involvement are the next and most important concern. Ideally, the space would be self-sustaining through an infrastructure of neighbors and congregants working together. Some of these needs can start to be attended through a permanent functional art installation that will serve as both a meditative guide and a functional, organic pathway.
Over the next months, we will be collaborating to carry out Manski’s labyrinth design, gather resources, and develop programming for the ongoing use of the structure. Through artistic influence, the work will be built and maintained by congregants and community members alike, and will be inaugurated by a Dedication celebration in the Spring of 2017.