Eat thou thy neighbor’s publicly dangling fruit
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ve observed the temperate climate of Ojai and how it lends itself to a verdant and rich display of agriculture throughout the Valley. Citrus and avocado groves blanket much of the landscape and in the downtown streets Ojai central, a surprising number of yards also sport a variety of fruit-bearing trees, bushes and vines.
A number of the yard and publicly planted fruit trees hang over sidewalks and roadways drooping heavy at times with a bounty of unpicked fruit. This is where the guys at Fallen Fruit come in. Essentially a public art collaboration, originally conceived by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young, it began by mapping fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles and other cities. This fruit, they determined, was up for grabs by anyone who passes near or neath it on the sidewalk or street and dares to reach up and pick it. Oranges, lemons, loquats, grapes and pomegranates all make an appearance in Ojai’s downtown blocks their newest map reveals.
Get all juiced up and seedy on public pomegranates. Photo by Fallen Fruit
Lisa Casoni of the Porch Gallery 310 E. Matilija St. and co-founder, along with Chris Ritke and Uta Ritke, of the newly formed Ojai Art Festival noted in an email to me:
“We are working with Fallen Fruit from Los Angeles in two different ways. One is a neighborhood infusion that will soon be distilled here in Ojai right before the festival begins on November 7, and the other is a map that they have produced of Ojai called Fallen Fruit of Ojai. Here’s information about them on our website,” Casoni stated.
When Lisa gave me a copy of the map, it opened my eyes in a whole ‘nother way. Now on my bicycle rides and walks, heck even driving around, I’m suddenly more aware of the trees and peoples’ yards. Further as a progenitor of face-shaped Ojai art, its pretty cool to me that the map drawing looks like a head. I like that the maps by Fallen Fruit aren’t exhaustive, rather focusing on a few streets in a local neighborhood. Ojai’s new map is bordered by Shady Lane and Signal Street on the east and west and by Grand Avenue and Ojai Avenue on the north and south.
The kicker comes down Thursday evening Nov. 7, 2013 at the Ojai Art Festival’s opening at the Porch Gallery which will also include works from photographer Enrico Natali. Also featured at the gallery will be several artists who have been juried into the Ojai Art Festival. At this point we’ll all be able to handle paper copies of this map and get our thirsts all over this neighborhood infusion. My understanding is that it is some sort of rye and mulberry mixture Lisa dreamed up with Jorge at OBC. Can’t wait to get my kisser up close and personal with a few thimblefuls of that. MMMMM AHHHH.