June marks the beginning of gleaning season and the Boston Area Gleaners have a fresh, new logo thanks to students in professor Rick Rawlins’ Community Design Studio class.
What is gleaning, you ask?
It’s an ancient method whereby peasants would be invited to farmers’ fields to collect what was left after the harvest in order to promote food security for the poor – and gleaning is still practiced today. The Boston Area Gleaners, a non-profit based in Waltham, Massachusetts, partners with more than 70 local farms to collect their surplus, providing homegrown produce to low-income markets and food pantries.
The collaboration with our College of Art and Design came about when the Gleaners needed a new logo, but knew their non-profit budget constraints couldn’t fund the special project.
“Our Executive Director suggested I look into local school programs, and I found Lesley's Community Design Studio program,” said the Gleaners Development Assistant Rebecca Fennel. “Its track record of work with Boston-area organizations, as shown in the program brochure, was really impressive, so we reached out and spoke with Rick. We decided it was a good fit for our timeline and design needs, so we went ahead with it.”
Our Community Design Studio is an experiential-learning course, through which students work with local non-profits to provide pro-bono design services. In addition to the Gleaners, students worked with three other clients during the spring semester, Common Exchange in Cambridge, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Artist’s Row in Salem, strengthening their design skills while offering substantive, tangible solutions to communities.
The Boston Area Gleaners’ former logo was inspired by a nineteenth-century painting by Jean-Francois Millet, titled “The Gleaners,” that depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains after the harvest.
Community Design Studio students Grover Derupe, Lauren Cowe and Wu Li seized a real-world artistic challenge to create a modern and updated logo for the organization. As the gleaning season kicks off this month, the students’ work will be highly visible and the Boston Area Gleaners will start strong with a modern logo representative of a time-honored practice.
“We're so happy,” Fennel said of the new logo.