How Food Moves at Rowan University Art Gallery (2017)

How Food Moves: Edible Logistics 

A group exhibition at Rowan University Art Gallery

(March 27 – May 27th, 2017 – Opening Reception March 30th)

Curated by Daniel Tucker

Participants include Kristen Neville Taylor, Amber Art & Design, Stephanie RothenbergRyan Griffis and Sarah Ross, Freedom Arts (led by Candice Smith), Cynthia Main, Otabenga Jones & Associates, Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, and Philly Stake.

Read press coverage about the exhibit from Artblog, Courier, Jersey Arts, and Rowan’s Whit Online.

Project Description:

“Logistics Makes The World Work Better” —  United Parcel Service, Inc.

Food moves through complex patterns of distribution in between the point of origin (“the farm”) and its point of consumption (“the plate”). Increasingly contemporary artists are grappling with the complexity of this movement through research-based and participatory initiatives and projects. This exhibition aims to highlight a range of these works, as well as present newly commissioned projects by artists working in the region who can explore regional specificity of Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. As part of this process, a publication was developed with Rowan University geography professor Megan Bucknum Ferrigno that serves as a primer on the food chain for audiences of the exhibition. Download that Booklet Here.

Participant Bios:

Amber Art & Design consists of 5 international artists based in Philadelphia. The Amber team has been working in the public art sphere for the past 10 years primarily within marginalized communities with little or no access to art. Formed in 2011 with a common goal to create meaningful public art that is transcendent, Ernel Martinez, Keir Johnston, Charles Barbin, Willis “Nomo” Humphries and Linda Fernandez joined to create a platform for social practice within communities.

Freedom Arts is an afterschool art initiative led by teaching artist, Candice Smith. Meeting twice a week at Freedom Prep Middle School in Camden, New Jersey, participating students explore how art has the power to address issues and communicate ideas. Through discussion, action research and various modes of creation, students begin to think through and deal with their own experiences. Part art education and part participatory art project, the goal of Freedom Arts is to energize young people to believe in their own potential as catalysts for community change.

Brian Holmes is an art and cultural critic with a PhD in Romance Languages. He has a longstanding interest in neoliberal globalization and a taste for on-the-ground intervention. From 1990 to 2009 he lived in Paris, collaborated with political art groups such as Ne Pas Plier, Bureau d’Etudes, Public Netbase, Hackitectura, Makrolab and others, and published in journals such as Multitudes, Springerin, and Brumaria. With Claire Pentecost and the 16 Beaver Group he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars from 2005 to 2009, with variations up to the present. His essays revolve around art, free cooperation, the network society, political economy and grassroots resistance. See the “Living Rivers” project featured in “How Food Moves” here.

Cynthia Main is a multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on relating to land as part of an integral view of a more sustainable society. Cynthia’s strong background in woodworking and traditional craft surfaces in most of her projects, work that often blurs the line between public and private practice. Projects include collaborative off-grid immersions, homesteading projects, performance collaborations and appropriate technology projects in Chicago, North Carolina and Missouri. She currently lives at Sandhill Farm, an intentional community and organic farm near Rutledge, Missouri.

Kristen Neville Taylor is an artist living and working in Philadelphia where she graduated with an MFA in Glass from the Tyler School of Art. Taylor’s work has been shown at Bunker Hull, Little Berlin, and Vox Populi galleries in Philadelphia, Richard Stockton Art Gallery in New Jersey, and as a part of Expo Chicago.  As a curator, she has organized several exhibitions including Landscape Techne at Little Berlin, The Usable Earth at the Esther Klein Gallery, and most recently she co-curated Middle of Nowhere in the Pine Barrens. Taylor is the recipient of the Laurie Wagman Prize in Glass, the Jack Malis Scholarship, and a 2017 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. Taylor’s work is concerned with culture and mass memory and the systems and events that shape these.

Otabenga Jones & Associates is a Houston-based educational art organization founded in 2002 by artist and educator Otabenga Jones in collaboration with members Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans and Robert A. Pruitt, among others.

Claire Pentecost‘s work engages collaboration, research, teaching, writing, lecturing, drawing, installation and photography in an ongoing interrogation of the institutional structures that organize knowledge. Her projects often address the contested boundary between the natural and the artificial, focusing in recent years on food, agriculture and bio-engineering. She has collaborated with Critical Art Ensemble and the late Beatriz daCosta, and since 2006 she has worked with Brian Holmes, 16Beaver and many others organizing a series of seminars to articulate the interlocking scales of our existence in the logic of globalization. In the Midwest, she collaborates with Compass, initiating a series of public hearings on the activities of the Monsanto Corporation. Recently Pentecost has exhibited at dOCUMENTA(13), Whitechapel Gallery, and the 13th Istanbul Biennial. She is represented by Higher Pictures, New York, and is Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Philly Stake is part of an international network of meal-based micro-granting organizations initiated by the artist collective Incubate in 2007 (Chicago). To date, there are nearly 50 projects in cities large and small around the globe. Responding to an open call process in 2010 by Theresa Rose and Kate Strathmann, a collective of volunteers formed and organized what became the first of 14 Stake dinners. Through funding raised at the dinner events, Philly Stake supports creative, grassroots projects that benefit communities within the city of Philadelphia. Its members are: Mira Sophia Adornetto, Eric Blasco, Emma Jacobs, Mallary Johnson, Hannah de Keijzer, Albert Lee, Brett Mapp, Theresa Rose, Ruth Scott Blackson, Kate Strathmann, Phaedra Tinder, Annemarie Vaeni, and Jonathan Wallis.

Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross: Ryan Griffis is an artist currently teaching in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Under the name Temporary Travel Office, Ryan has created work and publications that attempt to use tourism as an opportunity for critical public encounters. The Temporary Travel Office has created work for venues such as the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, SPACES Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Links Hall, PS122, LA Freewaves, and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. His writing on media, art, and culture has appeared in international print and online journals and in the edited volumes Cities and Inequalities (Routledge, 2015) and Support Networks (Chicago Social Practice History Series, SAIC/University of Chicago Press, 2014). More recently, his work is employing the form of documentary images and writing to address regional political ecologies and extractive agriculture. Sarah Ross is an artist who works in sculpture, video and photo and teaches at The School of the Art Institute Chicago. Her projects use narrative and the body to address spatial concerns as they relate to access, class, anxiety and activism. Sarah also works collaboratively with Chicago Justice Torture Memorials and she co-founded the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project; both are large scale cultural projects that work with survivors of police torture and currently incarcerated people. She has co-curated exhibitions at SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, Sea and Space Explorations, Los Angeles, and PS122, New York. Sarah is the recipient of grants from the Propeller Fund, Graham Foundation, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts and the Illinois Art Council. Some of her work has been exhibited in venues such as the Armory, Pasadena, CA; Gallery 727, Los Angeles; PS122, New York; Roots and Culture Gallery, Chicago; Pinkard Gallery, Baltimore; META Cultural Foundation, Romania and the Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal. Ryan and Sarah both work collaboratively with Compass and together as Regional Relationships; both projects explore the social and economic landscapes of the Midwest.

Stephanie Rothenberg is an artist using performance, installation and networked media to create provocative public interactions. Her work moves between real and virtual spaces investigating the power dynamics of techno utopias, global economics and outsourced labor. She has exhibited throughout the US and internationally in venues including Eyebeam in NYC, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, MA, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, House of Electronic Arts in Basel, Switzerland, LABoral in Gijon, Spain, Transmediale in Berlin and ZKM Center for Art & Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is a recipient of numerous awards, most recently from the Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital. Residencies include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, Eyebeam Art and Technology and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been widely reviewed including Artforum, Artnet, The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic. She is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo where she teaches courses in design and emerging technologies.