University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Potato Patch Art Project 2008

C. Style and L. Smith Location: Outside UWGB Student Union near Little Campus Store window. This project originated as collaboration between Professors Chris Style (Arts & Visual Design) and Larry Smith (Social Change & Development). Both are members of the Center for Food in Community & Culture. Larry Smith planted the potatoes on June 17, 2008 with support and cooperation from UWGB Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences Scott Furlong, Facilities Manager Paul Pinkston, Director of University Union Rick Warpinski, Student Government Association representative Brad Fischer and the Center for Food in Community & Culture while Professor Sarah Detweiler (Arts & Visual Design) photographed the planting process.

Larry Smith selecting potatoes for planting, photo by Sarah Detweiler

The project celebrates the United Nations’ declaration of 2008 as The International Year of the Potato for its extraordinary role in supporting human welfare since it was exported to the world from its roots in Peru in the sixteenth-century. The Potato Patch calls attention to issues of nutrition and sustainability as it demonstrates how easily potato power can turn lawn to garden. The potatoes will provide creative sustenance for Prof. Style and her students as they make potato prints, and feed the creative soul through photographic and drawn documentation of the potato patch to create a zine that will be placed in the new Cofrin Library Zine Collection (started by Sarah Detweiler and Stephan Perkins in spring 2008 and located on the 3rd floor). The potatoes may also be eaten. . . during a potato soup feast – a frugal repast sometime after harvest with the public invited.