Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foodie artist: Sharing a meal

I am in love with Michael Strand's Bowls Around Town project.  He created beautiful ceramic bowls, and circulated them around the community of Portland with a journal and camera.  The public is encouraged to have family or friends over and enjoy and document a favorite dish.  Strand hopes to create a community cookbook based on these experiences. I love that local public libraries are partnering to get the bowls out into the community.  I would love the opportunity to partner with artists more in my position as outreach librarian at the U.  How are other librarians partnering with artists?

I also adore his Misfit Cup Liberation Project, where the public can exchange a long forgotten cup that sits on your shelf for a new handmade piece.  He collects the stories around them, and encourages the owners to enjoy conversation over coffee and tea with his new cup. This reminds me of my time in Japan and London, both of which consisted of many visits with friends, none of which were complete without conversation over a hot beverage.  I hope this brings back teatime to many families across the country.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Inspiring artists: Plate as form

I would like to highlight two artists that I have read about lately that I find inspiring.  I will feature a few artists that work in a food-related realm.

  • Julie Green is working around the difficult topic of capital punishment. She documents the last meal of inmates prior to their execution in The Last Supper.  The variety from normal cafeteria fare, fast food, to  custom meals.  It illustrates the lack of humanity and dignity for inmates. One of the most touching plates I saw had a quote from one of the prison officials printed on it and a picture of a birthday cake; the inmate never had a birthday cake, so they invited his/her family and friends to have pizza and cake.  I am proud that Minnesota no longer has the death penalty, and support Julie's mission to make 50 plates a year until the death penalty is abolished. 
  • Have you ever wanted to eat in a museum?  Aki Shibata created an interactive exhibit and social experiment, where community members joined her in the museum for conversation over a meal.  I love the idea of stumbling upon them while enjoying artwork and being taken back by the everyday occurrence in a new place. Do you join in, listen, sit and watch, or move along?  I wish I could have visited or better yet participated when First Dates exhibited.