"Look Who's Coming To Dinner"
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Look Who's Coming to Dinner is an installation group exhibition consisting of 22 American and international artists working in painting, drawing, photographer, sculpture, furniture making, and ceramics. We installed the show at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, RI. It was available only virtually at Artland.
Our exhibition is a communal meal, but rather than actual food–the artwork takes its place. Within the context of our show, the “food” remains displayed and untouched while the guests of the gallery admire and converse–nibbling on short conversations of small talk and gossip. The gallery reshapes itself into a dining room. In this way, the gallery-goer becomes a diner.
The artworks’ collective purpose is to replicate the dining environment. We set the table comprised of handmade tableware surrounded by walls hung with drawings and paintings mimicking the scene within. This exhibition aims to emphasize the experience and culture of collective dining. We focused on the importance of social encounters that have been suppressed by COVID. Though not directly dealing with the persisting effects of the pandemic, this show comes out of our current and lasting need for social connection found through dining. Our particular ambitions derive from the subsection “Dining Rituals” located in chapter “Manners of The Upper Body” of Edward Muir’s book, Ritual in Early Modern Europe:
The distinction between eating merely to consume food and dining as a form of sociability inhabits the very core of what we call culture... nothing is more revealing of the basic assumptions of a culture than dining customs. (134)
The exhibition’s purpose is not to focus on explicitly European dining traditions but to instead highlight the concept of dining culture and the social relationships of the diners. In this way, “…conversation is the real food, and the rituals of dining completely displace eating” (140). The individual, and their presence at the table, are just as important as the meal in front of them. In this same way, the viewer is as essential as the art in the gallery.
"Darien Alumni Art Show"
The Darien Alumni Art Show featured selected work of DHS alumni artists. An inspiration to current Darien students, the exhibition shows how art can continue to be a part of their lives after graduating from DHS. The first Darien Alumni Art Show followed the 2020 pandemic year, when participating artists lost many of the traditional pathways to draw attention to their work, the show provided a much-needed opportunity to highlight their abilities.
In addition to the gallery show and sale, there also featured an artisan fair where our artists sold smaller works and crafts.
In 2021, the Darien Alumni Art Show sold close to $10,000 worth of artwork, with all profits going directly to the artists. This exhibition was hugely successful and we anticipate organizing a second one for June 10th - 12th of this year.