Maize Field is a public art project by the artist Christina Kelly. This summer, she will grow heritage, Native American three sisters gardens in Boerum Hill and Canarsie, Brooklyn. The garden sites are located in areas that were historically Indian planting grounds in the 17th century. The project aims to participate in the continual change that defines the city by highlighting a historical past then integrating that history back into the present landscape. The cultivation of this corn is like a living excavation that can also transform an urban space in a positive way.

Artist Statement

I'm struck by the historical fact that the area now called Boeurm Hill, Brooklyn, was once highly valued by the native inhabitants as an excellent place to grow their crops. The contrast between what once was and what is now feels so extreme. The cornfields are gone without leaving a trace. This sense that some things disappear seems to be a characteristic of New York reflected in the quintessential New Yorker comment "this neighborhood has really changed."

The corn gardens of Maize Field are meant to be a meditation on the change and displacements that have been part of New York’s history. At the same time, they symbolize gestures of restoration and resiliency that are also a part of city life.

Last summer (2009), I planted two "three sisters" gardens of heirloom Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) varieties. One garden was in collaboration with Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park and another with the Waterpod, a floating barge in NYC. Seeds from these gardens were saved, and some will be used in this year's gardens. click here for photo gallery of Prospect Park garden, 2009