Food-based art celebrated at Pueblo art show
Pueblo Chieftain USA TODAY NETWORK
March afternoons are not prone to predictability, but Saturday's sunny skies and pleasant breezes produced the perfect weather for a semi-outdoor art show created and hosted collaboratively by the Pueblo Food Project and Pueblo Art Guild.
The goal of the program was to help introduce more members of the public to either the Art Guild, if they were fa- miliar with the Food Project, or vice versa. Held at the Pueblo Art Guild's gallery in Mineral Palace Park, many community members stopped in while strolling by, or took some time to relax nearby after enjoying the show and explore what food meant to them.
'We had a very short turnaround to put this show together, and we had almost 70 entries, which is amazing,' said Food Project Director Monique Marez. '(the pieces) are all kind of different, all different kinds of artists and medias as you can see, and we're just so excited so many people wanted to join the party.'
She said that the project was initiated by Tom Carrigan, a member of the Pueblo Food Council as well as the Pueblo Art Guild.
'He thought it would be interesting to talk about food in a different way, and just seeing what different people's interpretations of that would be from the community,' Marez said.
Bob Labenberg, President of the Art Guild, said the collaboration began when Carrigan's joint membership of the two groups resulted in a bright idea: why not combine the idea of food insecurity with an art gallery to help bring community members who might not normally intersect with either the Food Project or the Art Guild into contact with the groups.
'It has turned out really, really nice,' Labenberg reflected. 'It's the first time that we've done something with another group, and we just think it's beneficial to get involved with other organizations in the community. This has been way suc-
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cessful, way more than I thought it would be.'
Marez said she hoped that the collaboration provided connections between the two communities - art and food advocacy - in hopes that further positive impacts could be had on Pueblo.
'I think it's great to have these overlaps as food advocates, connecting with the art community can be very powerful,' she said. 'So this is just an opportunity for us to build those connections and continue to tell the story.'
Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar and a representative of Blo Back Gallery judged the submitted art works, determining first, second and third place ribbons for the few dozen submitted works. Several of the submitted works were purchased during the show.
Visitors to the gallery were encouraged to vote for their favorite piece, which ultimately was titled 'Icythyopia,' and was created by Edwin Soriano. The piece was made of modeling clay, resin and other mixed media to create a 3D fish with a fetus in the stomach.
Soriano's piece also was given a Third Place ribbon by the Art Guild.
'I don't care if we have 40 entries or 100, we always have tremendous entries here in Pueblo,' said Labenberg.
Soriano said this was his first time entering a piece into an Art Guild show, and won a gift card and basket of local Pueblo products provided by the Pueblo Food Project. He asked those who looked at the piece to create their own meanings for it.
Also sponsoring the event was Springfield Cheese Shop, which provided a 40-pound block of cheddar for a ceramics artist to carve and shape. The artist, Cristine Boyd, provided drawings for event visitors to choose for her to carve. She owns and operates 'All Clay,' a studio on South Grand Avenue in Pueblo.
'It's obviously fabulous to have people come out, and this is a fantastic way to get people's ideas on what they want to see,' Gradisar said. 'It's a great event, and it's a beautiful day for it too.'
Chieftain reporter Heather Willard can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @HeatherDWrites.
The Pueblo Art Guild and Pueblo Food Project joined forces to host a show on Saturday, March 20. HEATHER WILLARD