The ‘Victory Farmers’ Exhibit on View in
May Supports Community Farming Effort
This May, the Oresman Gallery at the Larchmont Public Library will showcase the work of artist Stacey Creem in the “Victory Farmers” exhibit, an amalgamation of large and small oil paintings and photographs depicting men and women of Larchmont and Mamaroneck and their efforts in a community project sponsored by Victory Farms at the Grange. This project, on display from May 3-27, 2022, is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by ArtsWestchester.
“Victory Farmers” highlights community members who, last year, took part in a local effort to plant home vegetable gardens and donate the produce to the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force. The portraits tell a story of hope and inspiration, and an urgency to preserve the land and feed each other. Part of the proceeds from the sale of Creem’s artwork will benefit the Task Force.
“We are so thrilled to showcase Stacey’s work because it not only highlights a local artist but also how the community came together for a singular purpose during a difficult time,” said Laura Eckley, director, Larchmont Public Library. “There is no better place to exhibit this message than the beautiful gallery at our public institution.”
This is Creem’s first solo show. Creem, who had a 25-year career as an attorney, returned to art school at the New York Academy of Art in 2019 to pursue a lifelong interest in painting. While Creem’s paintings are representational, they combine three-dimensional form with bright color and abstraction to create a dream-like quality that at times transcends reality. The subjects in her portraits confront and challenge the viewer to look beyond the physical form to what lies at the heart of the motivation to farm.
“For me, this project is an attempt to tell a story of a community coming together during a difficult time,” said Creem. “The pandemic was so isolating, and people seemed divided politically and ideologically on many levels. I tried to convey the farmers and their landscapes through color and form that demonstrate both unity of the effort and the individuality of each participant. My hope is that my portraits highlight this community achievement and make people realize that individuals have the ability to make a positive impact on the world.”
The project began in the Spring of 2021 when Creem approached Victory Farms at The Grange founder Lisa Chase with the idea to create a series of portraits highlighting the project.
“I had seen Creem’s work and loved the idea of telling the story of the Victory Farms project through pictures of the gardeners who participated,” says, Chase. “I saw Stacey’s project as a way to broaden the community element of the project by partnering with a local artist.”
Chase founded Victory Farms at the Grange in 2020 with 40 Larchmont and Mamaroneck families planting vegetables and herbs in raised beds in their yards. Last year, the project expanded to about 150 families, as well as local elementary schools, churches, the Sheldrake Nature Center and the library.
In 2021, in collaboration with the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force, the produce from Victory Farms at the Grange fed more than 800 families. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida had profound effects on an already struggling community, and the Task Force was faced with an increase in demand for food.
“My hope is that people in Larchmont and Mamaroneck and beyond will see this exhibit and think about participating or, even better, starting their own victory farming project in their own communities,” said Chase.
The “Victory Farmers” is on view May 3-27 at the Oresman Gallery at the Larchmont Public Library,121 Larchmont Avenue. The exhibit opening (May 5 from 5:30-7:30 pm) and an artist talk (May 7 at 2 pm) are free and open to the public.
Victory Farms at The Grange is a Larchmont/Mamaroneck collaborative of local small food gardens in yards, schools, at the library, and more, that together make up a kind of suburban farm. The organization’s purpose is to raise food for its neighbors. Operating out of The Grange restaurant in Larchmont, Victory Farms donates what it grows to the Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force.
Learn more at grangelarchmont.com/victory-farms.
The Task Force, first formed in 1993, is a volunteer organization of concerned citizens dedicated to assisting local families who need food. The organization operates a food pantry that distributes nutritional bags of groceries to Larchmont and Mamaroneck residents.
To learn more, to volunteer, or to donate, visit www.LMFoodPantry.org.