Urban Land Scouts

Local artist Katie Ries launches her latest show this Friday, April 16 — the culmination of her work this year in pursuing a Masters in fine art at the University of Tennessee. The show, or program, is titled Urban Land Scouts and is a living outgrowth of where Ries’ attention has been this year. Much of her work has been socially-based and concerned with the question of how modern people engage with the land and how actions inform modern thought about larger issues, like land use, food security and sustainability.

Ries’ show will include drawings illustrating core values of the Urban Land Scouts, embroidered patches to earn at each level and assorted take-home objects, like fruit trees, vegetable starts, seeds and such.

The issues at the core of Ries’ work – land use, food security, and sustainability — are issues of concern and interest to The Tomato Head as well, and Ries’ exhibit offered an opportunity for The Tomato Head to get involved.

The restaurant is pleased to be sponsoring some of the larger fruit trees, like persimmons, cherry trees, and paw paws.

Curious? Think Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts for the modern person, open to persons of any age and level of expertise/ability with the land and you’ll be close to the idea of Urban Land Scouts. Want to get involved? There is a web site (urbanlandscouts.com) where folks can go to download a questionnaire to complete. The form will be assessed to determine where an individual might need to start within the ten levels of the Urban Land Scouts. Level 1 is “Observing the Natural World” and Level 10 is “Caring for a Fruit Tree & Sharing the Harvest.” After individuals have completed the action at a specific level, documentation of the progress is sent to passage@urbanlandscouts.com and then a patch will be mailed to acknowledge the achievement. Interested people can also fill out the form at the Downtown Gallery.

Ries’ show will be up from April 16 through April 30 at the Downtown Gallery in Knoxville, 106 South Gay Street (and the Gallery is open Wed. – Sat. 11am – 6pm W-F and 10am – 3pm on Saturdays).