Harlem Grown Enlists Six Artists To Reimagine Nike’s Air Force 1

Harlem Grown/Tall Poppy

In partnership with New York-based studio Tall Poppy, Harlem Grown, a New York-based non-profit is releasing one-of-one Air Force 1s. Founded in 2011 by Tony Hillery, the non-profit has provided access to free healthy food, education on urban farming, and now proudly has 14 farms located throughout Harlem. Harlem Grown’s latest creative endeavor features reimagined all-white Air Force 1s by six innovative artists. The designs will be on display at a special exhibition that begins on May 2 entitled “AgriCulture 1.”

The six New York-based artists are Laolu Senbanjo, Lisa Whittington, Adrian Brandon, Whitney House, Lyne Lucien, and Alex Caidor. They each transformed the Air Force 1 into their personal masterpieces, painting them from Harlem Grown’s extracts from okra, beets, spinach, and other vegetables from its farm. Each pair is to tell a story of the organization’s dedication to empowering and growing healthy and ambitious children in its neighborhood. This exhibition merges streetwear culture and Harlem Grown’s mission to accessibility for children and their communities.

Harlem Grown Taps Six Artists To Reimagine The Nike Air Force 1
Harlem Grown

Each artist comes from diverse backgrounds and artistic styles. Senbanjo has worked with Beyoncé, Burna Boy, and J Balvin, and is known for his utilization of his Nigerian heritage. Haitian artist Lucien is an award-winning artist who has had illustrations in publications such as Google, Hulu, NPR, and more. Caidor is another artist with a Haitian heritage who is known for intersecting cultural phenomena with urban landscapes, and the Black identity.

Dr. Whittington’s work inspired the Apple TV series Swagger. Brandon’s work has been celebrated on the national news media MSNBC and by actress Viola Davis while House’s work has caught the attention of music artists such as Flo Milli, A$AP Ferg, and Willow Smith.

“Harlem Grown has been empowering children to lead healthy and ambitious lives since 2011. This ‘AgriCulture 1’ exhibition showcases what we do up here to a whole new audience—it’s street culture meets agriculture and we hope people take notice and support what we’re doing,” said Hillery in a statement.

Harlem Grown Taps Six Artists To Reimagine The Nike Air Force 1
Harlem Grown

At the exhibition, an array of enjoyable food, drinks, and music from DJs will be present along with the shoes and artworks. After, a three-week auction with The Auction Collective, the footwear will be available to purchase. All proceeds will go to Harlem Grown to further its mission.

Karsten Jurkschat, co-founder of Tall Poppy, reflects on the exhibition. “It’s been incredible helping Harlem Grown bring their mission to life through art.” Jurkschat adds: “We wanted to tell their story in a new, unexpected way. It doesn’t feel like traditional fundraising and that’s what makes it so effective and spread organically through culture.”

AgriCulture 1” is on view on May 2 at 77 West 127th Street in New York, New York. The exhibition kick-off event is on May 2 at 6 pm.

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