2010 Commencement Show at MICA with paintings by Kenny Yee. There's a whole spread of food downstairs; we just forgot to take a picture of it!
This is the fourth installment Kenny’s Food and Art series, following Introduction to Food and Art, Use Your Coffee to Make Some Art, and Food and Art Trivia.
I was recently doing some research to find out when and how wine first got associated with art openings, but with my poor online investigating skills, I was not able to find any information. Food and Art seems to go hand-in-hand, pleasing your senses of taste and sight simultaneously.
As I’ve mentioned in last Sunday’s post, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars will often allow local artists to exhibit work on their dining room walls – an alternative space to galleries. Owners see an opportunity to support the local art community while realizing that a room full of compelling artwork can enhance the dining experience of their patrons. Not only does fine art show up on the walls within the food industry, but food has invaded many facets of the Art World.
As I wrote earlier, wine– and sometimes beer as well – is a staple at art openings. During special events and art walks, it is common to see a light spread of food, such as crackers and cheese, with fruit and cookies.
In one of the group critiques at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), a classmate of mine served doughnut munchkins, pastries and juice right before her crit, possibly a peace offering for us to be gentle.
And in Sarah Thornton’s Seven Days in the Art World, she writes about her experience of sitting in on a crit class at CalArts, and it is the responsibility of those receiving constructive feedback to actually feed the peers in attendance.
But when I think about the MICA art openings – which always have an impressive offering of sandwich wraps, veggies, hummus and pita, fruit, chips with salsa, crackers and cheese – I can’t help but envision the flock of undergrads who circle the food table and then set up camp and chow down like it’s their last meal.
Here’s a good example. At a recent studio visit, the artist provided a generous amount of pizza for the students. To my surprise, after one slice and a conversation, I went back to the table for a second slice and all 5 boxes were empty! I was shocked, but fine with it. Ten minutes later, when the food had been long gone, there were a couple of younger artists who still had a plate full of pizza – maybe 5 slices each – enjoying their smorgasbord in the corner. It prompted one of my classmates to question their lack of consideration and say if they were still hungry afterwards, “go home and eat a bowl of cereal.”
My favorite food and art experience was in Portland, Oregon during a monthly art walk. While navigating a long stretch of blocks that housed numerous art galleries, you could walk the festive streets in the cool evening breeze as local musicians played on sidewalks and various food vendors offered a variety of delicious bites from their tables and carts. I remember eating some tasty authentic tamales while enjoying all that Portland had to offer from their local artists. A perfect blend of food and art for the perfect night!
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