News Column

'Food, Glorious Food' looks good enough to eat

July 24, 2014

By Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch



July 24--Who doesn't like a good block party? Especially if the sun is out, the crowd is dense but easy to navigate, and there are plenty of interesting things to look at and experience?

That's the idea behind "Food, Glorious Food," which Art St. Louis will present on Saturday. The event coincides with the opening of an exhibition that shares its name and features art inspired by food.

"All of the artists in this exhibit live and work within a 200-mile radius (of St. Louis), so it's really a regional art exhibit," says Chandler Branch, executive director of Art St. Louis.

"It's also typical for us in that there is a theme involved," he says. But whereas some of the organization's exhibitions address more philosophical themes, "Food, Glorious Food" is relatively lighthearted.

"It's certainly something that I think people will enjoy," Branch says. Especially fans of such foods as watermelons, pomegranates and eggs -- just a few of the food items that figure in some of the artworks.

If you're into seafood, you'll want to be sure to check out Betty Shew's "Lobster," a sculpture that depicts the crustacean of the title.

"That's my favorite food," she says.

But viewers can also expect works that approach the food theme from unexpected angles. Michael Anderson's painting "The Luncheon" focuses on diners and their environment, not what's on the menu.

"I'm really pleased with how it turned out," Anderson says.

Art St. Louis showcased another food-themed exhibition, also called "Food, Glorious Food," two years ago when it was located at 555 Washington Avenue.

"When we did this in 2012, the stars were sort of aligned," Branch says. "That night in April, the Cardinals were playing, the Blues were playing, and we just had tons of people everywhere."

Although the theme is the same, the artworks in the latest "Food, Glorious Food" exhibition don't include any leftovers from the last one.

"It will have a different character," Branch says. "But it will be all new art."

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THE DISH

What's the big picture? The opening reception for "Food, Glorious Food" is a block party extending from the gallery to nearby Kaufman Park. Picnickers are welcome; feel free to bring a chair or blanket. In addition to the art, the event will feature food trucks and live music.

What's on display? Art reflecting a wide range of materials and approaches, including paintings, ceramics, assemblages, fiber sculptures, drawings, printmaking, photography, mixed media and glass.

Who created it? More than 50 local artists from Missouri and Illinois.

Who chose the art? The jurors were Allyson Mace, publisher and founder of Sauce Magazine, and Sara Choler Hale, artist and co-founder of Fair Shares CCSA.

What's in it for art collectors? All artworks in the exhibition are available for purchase, with none priced at more than $400.

Want to see artists in action? Watch as Michael Anderson, Lon Brauer, Jennifer Hayes and Erin McGrath Rieke create art on the spot, along with Chelsea Soronen and Rusty Conklin, creative directors of Chalk Riot.

Want to explore your inner artist? Try your hand at chalk art -- and create your own food-inspired images -- in an activity called "Play With Your Food!" Rusty Conklin and Chelsea Soronen, creative directors of Chalk Riot, will show you how it's done.

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What "Food, Glorious Food" -- When Opening reception 4-7 p.m. Saturday, runs through Sept. 11; regular gallery hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (closed Aug. 30 and Sept. 1) -- Where Art St. Louis Gallery & Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters CafÉ, 1223 Pine Street -- How much Free -- More info 314-241-4810 or artstlouis.org

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(c)2014 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


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