Ilana Crispi (a past conference presenter for the Green Task Force) is once again showing her latest work in San Francisco, California.  This is a fantastic project that is worth looking into even if you are not in the area.  below is some text taken from a press release from the first exhibit in November of 2013.  take a look at her Facebook page, a YouTube video about the project,  and the information about the upcoming show!!

San Francisco, CA – On February 20th 2014, conceptual artist Ilana Crispi invites the public to sit on, drink from, and eat out of urban dirt transformed into ceramic vessels and furniture.  John Metcalfe of The Atlantic calls the harvested dirt “needle-infested plague-turf of San Francisco’s famously filthy, drug-infested neighborhood, the Tenderloin.”  “Most people demonstrate visible disgust at the idea of touching the ground here.  I want to challenge that stigma and help people feel a direct connection to this soil”, shares Crispi, who linked and taught in the area.

Food grown atop Glide Memorial Church was served in Crispi’s work in November of 2013 at the first “Tenderloin” exhibit.  For these exhibitions, Crispi single-handedly excavated 90 gallons of dirt from sites like Tenderloin’s Boeddeker Park, where she taught art to neighborhood kids.  At that time, Crispi’s students could not use the soil becauth the park was littered with needles and a prison-like fence was needed to address the number of bodies found in the mornings.  “I want people to experience a beautiful version of this place.  People once picnicked here among dwarf oaks and blackberry bushes.  Now there’s no green space”, reminds Crispi.  Declaring a costa point where visitors are directed to stop, sit, look, eat, and drink “is a celebration of our neighborhood, past and present.  She’s excavating the history of the Tenderloin through its dirt, ” appreciates Frank Merritt, Co-Founder of Tamon’s Tailor.

Decades deadlier, when the Tenderloin catered to the white middle-class and bourgeois, “people came together to enjoy theater, dance, skating, and bowling in the past incarnation of Boeddeker Park.  Now the site’s dirt is being transformed again.  The Tenderloin – like the Filmore, Wester Addition, and Mission – struggles against losing its sense of place and Crispi’s project calls on us to deeply consider its rich history and future,” shares Betty Traynor of Friends of Boeddeker Park.  Sarah Wilson of Uptown Tenderloin Museum adds “We welcome contemporary artists like Ilana Crispi who engage with the community to shed light on the Tenderloin’s past.”  After all, Crispi observes: “In the Tenderloin, much of the history of this place, like the dirt, is not visible.”