"Perfect Poise" by Zachary Moore is one of several photos that make up the "Photography Project: City Greens Produce" exhibit that will be on display Jan. 17 to March 3 at two locations.

City Greens Produce has a vision: the availability of accessible healthy, fresh and affordable food choices to fuel the bodies and minds of those inhabiting the St. Louis community.

According to the innovative nonprofit, sponsored by Catholic Charities Midtown Center, “People unite around food – sharing meals and memories. At City Greens our community is uniting to make sure each of us has the opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables – from the good earth to our family’s tables.”

The Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis focused its cameras on the efforts of City Greens Produce for the latest round in its Photography Project series. The project participants include a diverse group ranging from the Catholic Charities Midtown Center director to a center volunteer’s granddaughter and in age from 15 to 67. Taking their cues from influential photographers Edward Weston (and his close-up shots of fruits and vegetables) and Roy DeCarava (and his poetic photos of Harlem, N.Y.), the project participants documented City Greens Produce’s community garden and its market on wheels, the Supa’ Fresh Veggie Mobile.

An exhibit of the group’s colorful photos, “Photography Project: City Greens Produce,” will be on display Jan. 17 to March 4 at the PPRC Photography Gallery, south hall of the 4th floor in the Social Sciences & Business Building at UMSL, 1 University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121). Gallery hours are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. An opening reception will be from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 17 in the gallery.

A duplicate of the exhibit will be on display Jan. 17 to March 4 at City Greens Produce in Catholic Charities Midtown Center, 1202 S. Boyle Ave. in St. Louis (63110). The exhibit can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 21, Feb. 18 and March 3. An opening reception will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the center.

The pioneering community photography programs established by artist and teacher Wendy Ewald serve as the model for the PPRC Photography Project. Several volunteer St. Louis-area community groups participate in the PPRC Photography Project each year. They learn the basics of photography and then are asked to document efforts to improve their neighborhood’s quality of life.

The Public Policy Research Center’s goal for the project is twofold: to highlight the undertakings of local organizations working toward the greater good and to inspire people to take a closer look at and get involved with their communities.

The Photography Project is co-sponsored by the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL, Missouri Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Regional Arts Commission.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz