November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Dean of the Haliburton School of the Arts, Sandra Dupret, and Photo Arts Faculty, Andrzej Maciejewski, both participated in a new food-themed exhibition for the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor. The following is a review of the Show by Jennifer Eberach for annarbor.com.
Gallery Project offers some ‘Food for Thought’
Tue, Nov 15, 2011
Part of James Reynolds’ “Last Supper Series” in “Food For Thought.”
Gallery Project investigates our relationship with food from every angle in “Food for Thought.” 38 artworks of all sorts created by about 30 contributors reveal how food touches every aspect of the human experience—from personal reflections, to cultural critiques, social or political statements, to thoughts on health, and beyond.
Gallery co-director Gloria Pritschet, who co-curated the exhibition with co-director Rocco DePietro and Plymouth artist Kevin Ewing, thinks it is the perfect time to do an exhibition about food. “Food is really up for people right now,” she says.
“The White House addressed food issues and obesity, and people are talking about issues of class and availability of healthy food. Many people have been scared by different food poisonings. I think more people are reading labels and realizing what’s in their food. And the local food movement, which is represented in the show, is gaining strength. It’s a sign that people are waking up to what they are putting in their mouths,” she says.
Some of the artworks draw awareness to where food comes from, how it is farmed, and what goes into it before it hits our plates. Joshua and Sarah Smith, who live on a ranch in Rawlins, Wyoming, raise grass-fed beef. Their hanging sculpture and poem “Poaceae” gives visual form to the old saying, ‘you are what you eat.’ Wire mesh shaped like a slab of beef is filled with grass and hung from a meat hook. The accompanying poem and the artwork draws attention to our place in the food chain and how “we feast on these beings/ which sup on these grasses,” as the poem reads.
Nearby, a series of documentaries of lectures by famous autistic animal behavior pioneer Temple Grandin play. Many have seen actress Claire Dane’s portrayal of Grandin in the recent award-winning biopic. She is famous for designing farm animal handling techniques with the perspective of the livestock in mind.
Local cake artist Heather Anne Leavitt only uses local ingredients to make her Sweet Heather Anne cakes. Her six-level Mile High Cake is a Styrofoam version decorated with real icing. The decorations on the cake diagram where each of the cake’s ingredients came from before reaching her kitchen—all local places like Tantre’ Farm and Sunrise Poultry.
A number of the artworks in “Food for Thought” examine topics like consumer culture and the food choices we make. Artist Sandra Dupret of Haliburton, Ontario charts her own eating habits over her lifetime in a series of felt artworks on 15 small canvases, “A Personal Food Evaluation, 1969-2011: The Early Years, The Middle Years, Recent Years.” Over time, she went from eating highly processed foods to more natural food. For example, she ate Cheez Whiz when she was young, cheese-flavored crackers when she was a bit older, and now she eats just plain old cheese.
Artist Andrzej Maciejewski of Yarker, Ontario contributed three still-life photographs of fruits from his “Garden of Eden” series. The pieces play off the way classic still life paintings from art history celebrate the beauty of nature and fertility. However, in Maciejewski’s version, all of the labels are left on the fruit, uglying up the composition and distracting the eye. His artist statement hints at how the work shows how people are “slowly destroying nature.”
A few pieces employ a survey in one way or another. One of the artworks Pritschet contributed to the show, “Where did you eat lately?,” polls gallery visitors on where they were when they ate recent meals. People ‘vote’ by putting marbles into different types of cups labeled with phrases like “watching TV,” “in my car,” “at my desk at work,” or at the “dining table,” which are popular choices.
James Reynolds, an artist from London, England, documents what prisoners on death row ate for their last meal in his “Last Supper Series,” photographs of orange food trays. Long Beach, Calif. artist Rebecca Sittler weighed meat patties served at independent restaurants in her area for her work “The Weight of Non-Franchise Meat.” She documented each with a photograph, paying homage to Robert Cumming’s 1971 artist book “The Weight of Franchise Meat.” In her artist statement, she explains that the work documents “an imaginary ‘burger war’ between independent restaurants the exists in the shadows of larger franchised establishments.”
Ann Arbor artist Tom Nighswander’s photographs, “Dumpster Diving,” document one Saturday night’s worth of trashed food in Ann Arbor trash bins. “I try to show the carnage and beauty that can be found in everyday trash,” he says in his artist statement.
There are also highly personal accounts of food in the exhibition. Ann Arbor artist Julie Renfro mounted some of her mother’s recipe cards in frames and decorated them with beads and small objects. All together they resemble a patchwork quilt of a personal history.
And Rocco DePietro describes his pastel and pencil drawing “I’m Staying for Dinner” as a scene from a dream he had about being served a soup full of animal parts amongst figures he describes as “zombies.”
Near the back of the gallery, two pieces present disturbing views of meat. Bloomington, Indiana artist Lauren Duffy’s “Reaching, Falling, Crawling” ceramic sculptures depict featherless chickens with huge seemingly genetically-modified chests. They look as if they are almost ready to go to market, save the fact they appear to still be alive, struggling on the floor.
A more disturbing and transgressive look at the topic of food is Thomas McMillen-Oakley’s “White Meat,” a photograph showing a nude man from the back, chained up with his different sections marked off with a black marker, as another man gets ready to butcher him like a farm animal.
The exhibition contains many thought-provoking works that ask you to consider your own relationship and feelings about food. More artists in the show include Jason DeMarte of Ypsilanti, Brenda Oelbaum of Ann Arbor, Hilary Dana Williams of Des Moines, Iowa, Erin Garber-Pearson of Toledo, Ohio, Melanie Manos of Ann Arbor, Cayla Skillin-Brauchle of Athens, Ohio, Amy Feigley-Lee of Detroit, Teresa Peterson of Detroit, Jamie Fales of East Islip, New York, Rob Todd of Ypsilanti, Katie Halton of Ann Arbor, Joel Panozzo of Ann Arbor, as well as an installation of photographs, a video, and pamphlets about threatened foods from Slow Food Huron Valley and Slowfood International (care of Kim Bayer, an annarbor.com community contributor who wrote about the exhibition).
In the end, choices about what we eat and how we feel about food and the natural world are highly personal. Instead of telling us what to think, “Food for Thought” asks the viewers to be conscious of their own feelings and opinions. “Each decision is right for each different person depending on your own value system and your own context. The exhibition represents a lot of different people’s contexts,” Pritschet explains.
“Food For Thought” is on display through Dec. 11 at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor, USA.
May 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
The May issue of Muskoka Magazine features recent alumnus, Joy McCormack. Joy attend the Drawing & Painting Program in fall of 2010. She has promoted HSTA’s programs since the moment she walked through our doors through conversations with others, presenting her experience at Huntsville Rotary, and now in her recent coverage in Muskoka mag.
April 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
Another semester, another Show & Sale! Another Show & Sale, another post from us here at HSTA about how amazing our Show & Sale was…seriously. Once again, we were blown away by the professionalism, the quality and breadth of work, proud of the amount of participation from every in-season certificate and VCAD, and incredibly pleased with the response from the community. To make a bad pun, they came in legions. We keep saying it, but it only makes it more true….each time, our Show & Sale gets bigger : more work, more students, more visitors, more sales. Still only in its infancy, the bi-annual Show & Sale has proven itself to be a “don’t miss” event and here at HSTA we congratulate all of our students who participated and thank the legions from the Haliburton Community and beyond who came out in support of the emerging arts and our Campus.
April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
Image: Beans from Kitchen on Canvas
HSTA- VCAD and Glassblowing alumni, Deb Murphy, has recently been announced as an artist-in-residence at the newly resurrected Art in the Park at Pukaskwa National Park. Deborah will be in residence Friday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
Approaching 60 and obsessing with the transience of life, Deborah resurrects life’s rejects in the materials she uses – from the fungi in her Gooderham, ON yard to the electrical wiring from her husband’s work to the windows from her godparents’ home. “My art escapes me with the force of a robust fart that refuses to be contained; accompanied by laughter and protests of surprise,” she says. Pukaskwa can’t wait to spend some time laughing with Deborah this spring! While in residence, Deborah will be offering workshops (Details to TBA.)
The resurrection all started with a local artist prompting, begging, nagging staff at the Park to bring back Pukaskwa’s Art in the Park program. They listened, and there’s no better year for it – this year marks 100 years for the world’s FIRST national parks system. Parks Canada is celebrating its 100th, and HSTA is proud that Deb is a part of it.
Pukaskwa located at the end of Highway 627, 15km south of the TransCanada Highway 17. The closest communities are Pic River First Nation and Heron Bay, also on Highway 627, and Marathon,a 25 minute drive west of the park. It is a 4.5 hour drive northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, ON and a 3.5 hour drive east of Thunder Bay.
Pukaskwa is a spectacular wilderness park located on the most rugged and wild section of the Lake Superior coast. Tucked into this shoreline is the 67-site Hattie Cove Campground. Known for its quiet and intimate feel, Hattie Cove is the sort of hidden gem the pulls visitors back year after year. But , Lake Superior makes its own weather. Even in the summer months, visitors should expect cool temperatures. Daytime highs rarely go higher than 25°C and evenings can be chilly around the fire. On the bright side, the days there are long!
Congrats again Deb!
March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Visual and Creative Arts Diploma Class Exhibition
March 9 to March 24, 2011
When you attend this show, you are along for the ride on a journey that has just begun for these artists. “THIS” provides some insight into the progressive nature of student work, that is at turns playful, pensive and sometimes pretty darned hard to get a handle on, and that’s ok! It is through experiments, concept development and creative risk taking that students develop their artistic voice. By intention, no finished work is shown. This is the third year in a row the Rails End has presented a peek at the inner world of VCAD.
Meet the Artists at a Reception Wednesday March 9 from 4:30 – 6 pm.
January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
HSTA – Fleming College has a very active and welcoming Student Association which provides activities for FREE for current students. Check back on this Blog for S.A. updates and upcoming events throughout the Semester to stay in the loop and get involved!
Starting Mondays… Zumba and Pilates with Suzanne Haedicke! 4:45-6:00pm in the Great Hall. Start your week with a great aerobic workout, and strength building pilates. Mats provided. Just wear comfy clothes.
Starting Wednesdays…Yoga with Heather Mancuso! 4:45-6:00pm in the Great Hall. Take some time to relax and decompress with some Yoga. Mats, blocks, and straps provided. Just wear comfy clothes.
Starting January 25th on Tuesdays…Life Drawing, Unstructured 5-7pm in Room 11. The artist’s workout. Life Drawing allows you to quickly develop and improve your drawing skills. Students direct the session, as well as set-up and tear down the studio.
The 1st S.A. meeting for certificates and VCAD representatives is Jan. 17th @ noon in the Great Hall with Heidi of Student Services.