“I’m interested in the impact the fruit and vegetable carts will have on these areas and how they will compete with the neighborhoods’ established food institutions. As our country adapts to a struggling economy and we debate healthcare, the severity of these national issues can be seen on a local level through the Green Cart Initiative and its influence on New York City’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.” —Will Steacy
This print by Will Steacy, one of five emerging artists selected by Aperture to document the NYC Green Cart Initiative, a program that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved urban communities, was inspired by his interest in the relationship between a community’s socio-economic status and its health records. One of the biggest debates in public health today is the fact that low-income households have the highest reported rates of illness, while high-income households report the lowest.
Over the course of a year, he photographed the geographic areas where the highest reported instances of poor health and people living without health insurance overlap with Green Cart locations. Empty Vegetable Stand on Valentine’s Day, Looking East From 3rd Avenue & 110th, New York is a striking example of one of these neighborhoods.
Will Steacy (born in New Haven, Conn., 1980) graduated from New York University with a BFA in 2003 and worked as a union laborer before becoming a photographer. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including Michael Mazzeo Gallery, the 2009 New York Photo Festival, Galerie Art Mur in Montreal, and the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. In 2006, Steacy was included in the book 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers, Volume 2 by powerHouse Books and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In 2008, he won the Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Photographers Competition and was a recipient of a Tierney Fellowship. He lives and works in New York.
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Half Persimmon, 2009