We make art about food, farming and culture
Our story starts on the farm
Art and agriculture are central to the Hmong culture, identity and history. Our artists and farmers have always been resilient cultural makers, from Southeast Asia to the world. Traditionally, Hmong farmers turned to their artistry in the winter months. Farmers were artists. Artists were farmers. From handmade textile and crafts to hand-grown foods that create our own distinct flavors and recipes, Hmong people have always captured our journeys through art and farming. This ingenuity has seeded generational legacies, reshaping all local and global cultures touched upon. Our intermingled artistic and farming practices are becoming more and more isolated, and are gradually disappearing and disconnecting us from our history. This is why as artists, we are committed to creating alongside of farmers. This creates space to exchange ideas, knowledge, and stories, but most importantly, paying the respect to where we come from. We build deeper understanding and relationships to our culture and each other. This process is important because it is how artists draw inspiration to create unique works of art that are delivered to you as part of a share.
The CSA Model
ArtCrop is modeled after Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), only with art! Traditionally when you buy a CSA share, you're paying farmers in advance of the growing season. The farmers then use the funds to jumpstart their planting. In return, the members can expect regular deliveries of fresh produce dropped off at a convenient location. Similarly, when you buy an art share, you're paying the artist in advance to create a one-time piece of artwork. With ArtCrop, we partner with artists and farmers to bring you both art and food as part of your share.
The CSA piloted in the Twin Cities, Minnesota in 2017 with our friends at the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA). Our founder, Oskar Ly, created a unique set of art coasters (sourced from original batik hemp from RedGreen Rivers artisans) to accompany each HAFA x ArtCrop Thanksgiving CSA, the inaugural artshare. Oskar's vision for ArtCrop is to create opportunities and a sustainable platform that complements Hmong artists and farmers. Additionally, her hope is that this process challenges and empowers artists and farmers to explore and redefine what it means to be a Hmong maker, locally and globally. Bring ArtCrop to your farm CSA.
Why CSAs For Art & Food?
Artists and farmers share parallel struggles in their ability to thrive despite their unique skills and large influence in keeping local and global cultures alive. The goal of the CSA is to support both the artists and farmers through alternative cooperative market economies. CSA is not just an art and food delivery service, but rather a social contract rooted in community, mutuality, and stewardship. We do so with respect to sharing the land, Hmong culture and the local economy. So when you sign up to join the CSA, you’re not only lifting up over 130 Hmong farmers and artists, you’re also building up wealth, community, and culture for future generations.
Raise awareness and support for Hmong artists and farmers as cultural makers
Create sustainability through local market economies
Build global Hmong arts and agriculture connections for generations to come
Collective creativity and play