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Fallen Fruit:
Monument to Sharing

The Fallen Fruit Collective, composed of artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young, has been commissioned to create a large-scale public work of art entitled Monument to Sharing. The installation and renovation of the Wilbur D. May Sculpture Plaza are the first of a multi-phased Museum expansion scheduled for completion in early 2025.

Monument to Sharing involves planting approximately twenty-one fruit-bearing trees, a berry patch and a series of edible pollinators that the public is welcome to “harvest,” inviting guests to explore ideas of generosity, agricultural production and the meaning behind “community.”

According to the artists, pieces of “fallen fruit” can connect us in interesting ways: “We believe everyone is a collaborator in making something special – even the stranger or passerby. We believe that ‘artwork’ has a ‘resonant effect.’ Fruit is a universal gift to humanity and fruit is always political.” Both interactive and collaborative, Monument to Sharing is a unique expression of local history—especially the region’s agricultural heritage. The artists encourage guests to gently pick the fruit they need, while leaving enough to share with others.

Fallen Fruit was originally conceived in 2004 by Matias Viegener, Burns and Young. Since 2013, Burns and Young have continued the collaborative work. The collective began creating interactive installations for a project in Los Angeles for which they created maps of what the artists called “public fruit,” or fruit trees that grew over public property. The artists use cartography and geography to create serialized and site-specific works that embrace public participation. These include photographic portraits, experimental documentary videos, public art installation, exhibition projects and a community-contributed magazine specific to the installation. Using fruit — and public spaces — as a method of exploring the familiar, the collective Fallen Fruit encourages all of us to change the way we see the world.

Other public fruit parks include The Endless Orchard, UB Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Weinland Park Berry Patch and South Side Fruit Park, Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; and Monument to Sharing, Los Angeles Historic Park. Los Angeles, CA. Installations include Paradise, Portland Art Museum, Portland. OR; CRAZY, Chiostro Del Bramante, Rome, Italy; Empire, Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA; Teatro del Sole (Theater of the Sun), Manifesta 12 Biennale, Polermo, Sicily, Italy; and Fruits from the Garden and Field, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.

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