mami and Jesse

My name is Cristal Chen and I am pursuing my Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. is not only my thesis project, but also a natural extension of my passion for community engagement for social change. I would like my work to offer a social platform for people to come together and talk. The beauty of this project lies in the dialogue and social interaction that takes place during the production process. is a result of my interactions with local farms, farmers, and consumers. As I labored on this project, I realized that the community’s involvement and participation are essential for my work to exist and come alive. Therefore, participation and collaboration are the key components of my art.

I would like to offer this website as a tribute to all of those who participated in my research. I’m forever grateful to all the farms that granted me full entrance into their fields and let me experience first hand what it is to be a farmer, if even for a few moments. Many thanks to Robin, Lucila, Owen and Lauren as well as the entire crew of farmers at Susie’s Farms. Much appreciation to Mel and Cathryn at Wild Willow Farms, Amy Hooker and Trish at Einstein Academy Elementary, Samuel and Daniela at Imperial Beach Community Garden, David Larom at Bonita Home Garden, and Diana Bergman and Martha Prusinskas at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. Thank you all for welcoming me into your gardens and fields again and again.

I would also like to thank the members of my thesis committee, SDSU School of Art Interim director, Kotaro Nakamura, thesis chair Arzu Ozkal and Prof. Dr. Ramona Perez. Thank you not only for your time and patience, but also for your intellectual contributions to my project. I also thank Prof. Richard Keely and Kim Stringfellow for encouraging me to improve in my weaker areas. Lastly, but not less importantly, I want to thank my peers, who have inspired me to excel and expand my perspectives. Throughout this program, I was stretched to overcome many fears and uncertainties, and challenged to do things that were unorthodox. But ultimately, I believe these challenges not only enhanced my thesis and work, but also my growth as an artist.