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I need $1,500 to fund my trip to the Noah's Ark of apple orchards to sculpt some of the 2500 endangered varieties grown there. Picking season is now!
39 backers pledged $2,030 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Update & cookbook lecture and tasting, Oct 18

Posted by Jessica Rath (Creator)

Hello Backers,

Hope this finds you well. This coming Tuesday, October 18th @ 7pm I'll be lecturing about Take me to the apple breeder at the cookbook, a boutique grocer in Echo Park to an intimate group, sharing the sculptures and photographs in person. 

Also happy to report that I am a FT visiting artist at CalArts this semester and continuing on as a visiting artist at Art Center in the Spring. Selections from Apple Breeder will be featured in January at Wignall Museum, Chaffey College and at Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis. Happy apple crunching this Fall.

JESSICA RATH, TAKE ME TO THE APPLE BREEDER & APPLE SHADOW @ cookbook, Tuesday, October 18 @ 7 pm, free


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Acting as an aesthetic liaison between food scientists and the public, Los Angeles-based artist Jessica Rath has created Take me to the apple breeder, a collaborative project with Cornell University's Plant Genetics Resource Unit in Geneva, NY, the living laboratory famously referred to as the "Noah's ark of orchards" in Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire. Jessica will share her porcelain sculptures of these endangered apples and Apple Shadow, a photographic series capturing the extreme architecture of new apple breeds. 

We will also sample local See Canyon Orchard apples, including many rare varieties cultivated in their special cold climate canyon near San Luis Obispo, CA: sheepnose, fryberg, tydeman late orange, winesap, melrose, & empire with camembert, baguettes & sparkling wine!

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Apple Shadow

Posted by Jessica Rath (Creator)

Hello Folks,

Dear Backers---Just wanted to let you know that I've returned from my second orchard trip, this time backed by Center for Cultural Innovation, to photograph extreme genetic diversity as seen in the architecture of apple tree hybrids in mid-winter. Apple Shadow and the porcelain sculptures of Ghost Orchard will premiere at Pasadena Museum of California Art in November 2012 and travel to several other US museums. 

I'm looking for gallery/dealer representation for this work in LA or other cities, if anyone has any suggestions. Additionally I'm putting together a group show of like-minded fruit bearing artists and arranging for several panel discussions about the aesthetic manipulation of our tastes in fruit and other foods through plant genetics. Both lead scientists, Dr. Susan Brown and Dr. Philip Forsline have offered to join in on the discussion. 

Enjoy the summer and pluck, pluck, pluck all that you can. -- Best--Jessica

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Limited Edition Beauties

Posted by Jessica Rath (Creator)

Hello Folks--I thought I would give my 38 backers first dibs on a special edition for the holidays. 15 Kazakhstan Elite (15 pink & 15 black) apples, $100 each plus shipping. Just let me know!
"Kazakhstan Elite (pink)," 2010, high-fire glazed porcelain, 4" x 3" x 2.5"
"Kazakhstan Elite (black)," 2010, high-fired glazed porcelain, 4" x 3" x 3"

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returning to the orchard

Posted by Jessica Rath (Creator)

Hello to all Apple Breeder backers!
Just wanted to share the news. I received a Center for Cultural Innovation grant to return to the Plant Genetics Resource Unit in up state New York. I'll be documenting extreme diversity in tree architecture--think 20 foot white muslin back drops and gorgeous lighting on vastly different tree silhouettes in mid-winter. Printed 8 feet tall. FUN. Hoping to show dozens of porcelain apples and these gorgeous prints together.... any ideas?!

Attached --
a video of the orchard trip
the latest slip casts
& a DEACON JONES apple glaze test

All apples all the time.

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a ravishing collection

Posted by Jessica Rath (Creator)

Hello dear Backers,
As promised, an edited photographic inventory of the apples I brought back from the Plant Genetics Resource Unit is now at:

I've got over a hundred apples still in the fridge and am in the middle of casting my amalgamated version of DEACON JONES, a muscular beauty four times the size of a normal apple. The finished piece is a series of ten high-fire copper red glazed porcelain apples. More pics to come!

On a publicity note: Evan Kleiman will be interviewing me about the project for Good Food on KCRW in FEB. Yeah.


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