We’ve seen museums grow from the ground up, but never literally – until now. New Hampshire artist F. Marek Modzelewski is planning to grow a field of wheat on a future museum site, harvest it, and then transform it into a permanent straw bale building with rotating exhibitions, making the museum itself a work of eco-art. Want to see Modzelewski’s vision come to fruition? Check out his new Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the initiative!
If funded, the green project will begin with raising a field of wheat, a material close to the artist’s heart, as his family has a long history of wheat farming in Poland and the United States. Aside from being an incredibly symbolic material in both history and art, wheat straw bales are also a durable green method of construction. Cubes of straw bales are stacked atop each other, inside a wooden frame. The walls naturally insulate, are sturdy and inexpensive, and smell as fresh as a meadow. The straw bale walls are sealed with lime plaster, making the surface safe for hanging art.
The Growing Museum would host 1,500-1,7500 feet of exhibition space, including performance, dance and music areas. Modzelewski hopes the program itself will grow, allowing artist residencies, community education and a larger museum to flourish in the future.
Under the guidance of an architect, the construction of this museum would be an art performance in itself, which would take place slowly over time as the wheat grows into the construction materials it will become. The plan will incorporate other green building practices, like solar heating and power, making the museum a sustainable building and work of art.
If all goes as planned the planting will begin in Spring 2013, with cultivation that summer, and final construction in Spring of 2014.
Images ©Rico’s Lounge and Wikimedia Commons