‘Seeing Food’ Exhibit at Kramer Gallery

‘Seeing Food’ art exhibit at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room in the Silver Spring Civic Building is on display now through May 24 The exhibition includes oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, quilts, glass, video, digitial photographs, and poetry by 15 Montgomery County artists. Admission to the gallery is free.

Food has fascinated people for centuries. Seeing Food, a juried exhibition of 15 artists opens on April 8, 2013 at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and explores the way we view, interact with, and are affected by food. The Kramer Gallery is housed on the first floor of the Silver Spring Civic Building, open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

“Food, its production, distribution, and consumption impacts our lives in myriad ways, shaping our landscape, culture, and family interactions,” says Kramer Gallery Curator, Dr. Michele Cohen. “Seeing Food reminds us of Montgomery County’s agricultural roots and explores the ways in which artists have both viewed and manipulated food, whether in paint, fiber, photographs, glass, video, or poetry.”

Dorit Yaron, co-juror for this exhibition, observes that “while some [of the] artists focused on food and/or tools used to prepare food, others communicated the relationships between food and society, as well as highlighting the complex relationships between food, families and/or cultures.”

Several artists, such as Nori Thorne and Vicky Surles, document Montgomery County’s fertile farmland and produce with rich pastels, oils, and watercolors, as do Susan Bradley, Sandra Levine and Moira Ratchford. Others focus on the human interaction with food, beautifully recorded in paint by Cathy Abramson and in video by Mark Pagan. In his experimental short film, Pagan examines the psychological links between food preparation and family. Still for some, food becomes a formal device, collaged with other elements so that shape and color are emphasized. This is wonderfully exemplified in Joyce Jewell’s vivid digital prints. Wilfred Brunner takes a cerebral approach to painting, mixing image with text and creating color harmonies with the greens and reds of fresh produce against textured backgrounds. Veronica Hunter’s enigmatic photographic series depicts a pair of glitter-coated potatoes. Evoking two bodies, each image becomes a frame in an animated film.

The exhibition includes quilts by fiber artists Susan Callahan—also a chef—Jan Gavin, and Susan Walen, as well as elegant serving platters by fused glass artist Jill Tanenbaum. Lastly, Seeing Food features a poetry installation by Maritza Rivera, conceived in the Cordel tradition, a Brazilian art form where poets hang their verses across vending stalls.

Seeing Food was co-juried by Dorit Yaron, Acting Director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Dr. Michele Cohen, Director of the Public Arts Trust of Montgomery County and Curator of the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery.

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