In fall 2021, six artists created incredible murals across hundreds of feet of Fruition’s barns!
Chloe Smith, Rochester native and co-founder of 490 Farmers, created
“From Rochester with Love: An Urban Gardenscape on the Horizon.”
Chloe began with a 40-foot wide canvas of corrugated metal barn, 20 feet tall at the apex. Many thanks to the endless collaborative generosity of the Bristol Valley Theater for lending us their extraordinary scaffolding for our murals!
Chloe, what inspired you to create this mural?
This mural was inspired by my combined passion for urban gardening, creating public art, and the love I have for my hometown of Rochester. I feel very connected to the local urban gardening community, and was excited by the opportunity to honor that community as well as to depict my vision of the future of gardening in the city. I wanted to bring to life Rochester as I imagine it, moving toward a green & abundant future.
Did you struggle with anything as you created your mural?
The main struggle for me was undertaking a very ambitious design on a giant, corrugated surface- as well as navigating the fall weather changes! As with past projects, I also struggled with my own self-doubt & tendency towards perfectionism when it comes to my work.
It helped immensely having other artists to work alongside and feeling the mutual support of each others’ presence, as well as all the positive energy and encouragement I felt from the people at Fruition each day.
What connects your mural to Fruition? To us all? To future generations?
My mural attempts to visually link the urban gardening world to the beauty of the surrounding Finger Lakes & the hub of abundance at Fruition Seeds in Naples. It celebrates the role that Fruition plays in our urban growers’ lives and gardens by way of providing adapted seeds & valuable information to our area’s gardeners.
So, pun intended, it is playing a major role in bringing my mural’s vision to fruition! And I hope future generations live happily in a version of my imagined world.
What are you hoping people to take away from your mural?
I mainly hope my mural brings people joy and inspiration. I also hope the landscape resonates with viewers from the area, while also recognizing its imaginary quality and not-quite-rightness. I hope it makes people ask questions, come up with their own ideas, and arouses curiosity to discover more of Rochester’s green side, and maybe their own idea of what an urban landscape can be.
Tell us about your artistic/creation process!
Usually I start projects with a combination of brainstorming, discussing with others, and creating space for ideas to come to me. In this case, the idea for this image was already in the foreground of my brain because it’s a vision that informs a lot of what I do each day, through my own community garden work and home projects. Its hard to get it on paper at first, but sketching out an idea is exciting because it’s the first step toward getting it out of your brain and into the world.
The process of bringing an idea from a brain seed to a full grown, public mural that will be seen and experienced by others is daunting but also empowering. The ambition to bring that image to its fully realized place in the world is what makes it worth all the energy and time.
“Everything that we touch changes; everything we touch changes us” says Octavia Butler. Chloe, how has your mural transformed you? How do you hope this transforms Fruition? Us all?
This mural was definitely a journey and a challenge, and I really feel I have grown artistically and spiritually from it…
…I met so many interesting people through this experience, and gathered so many inspiration seeds for future projects from the conversations and surroundings at Fruition.
Chloe, what are a few words you hope people feel tingling in their spine when they experience your mural?
Hope, abundance, fortitude, community, potential, growth, pride, and rejuvenation. Are just a few…!
How can we learn more about you & your work, Chloe?
Chloe, we love you!
And can’t wait to see you on the farm to see Chloe’s brilliance in person, no picture can do her work justice!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
& the whole Fruition crew