Caz: It's Critz

It's Critz

Farmers and artists come together this weekend

By Willie Kiernan

That's the definition of agri-tourism in the area.

"We have been so busy, I've been really behind in my press releases," said Juanita Critz, owner of Critz Farms with husband Matthew.

Starting in late September, the agri-tourist destination on Route 13 in Cazenovia, Critz Farms, has been going full tilt. With pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, decorations, kiddie slides, animals and new-this-year cider press, they offer that great autumnal family time right up to the Christmas tree season. This weekend, they will feature Farmworks, a collaboration between farmers and artists.

Whether you're looking for corn stalks, fresh apple cider, earthy gifts or jarred deliciousness, Critz is the answer.

Farmworks, a show linking farmers and artists in the cultivation of land, food and art, will be presented from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20 and Sunday Oct. 21. The show is a pilot project that pairs local farmers and artists to share knowledge, experience and methods. This process culminates in art that reflects those efforts.

Cazenovia College artists Neil Chowdhury, assistant professor of photography, and Jen Pepper, associate professor of art, with student volunteers from the Cazenovia College Art Club, in collaboration with Matthew and Juanita Critz, are involved in this community-based project. Their artworks, will be on display both days. There is an opportunity to meet the artists and farmers at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

A five dollar admission fee allows access to all activities and events at Critz Farms for both days.

Pepper's work, Pumpkin Heads, is an installation of more than 100 chromed, ceramic casts from 1940s-1960s vintage Halloween cultural icons in the pumpkin patch on Critz Farms.

The installation notes the intersections between artist, farm and public as a working collaborative where actions and ideas are dispersed, farmed and formed," Pepper said. "This gesture links art to everyday sites, and speaks to agricultural practices, agri-tourism, consumerism and consumption.

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