Painting by Danielle Flicek

Danielle Flicek will talk about food and art at the Aug. 27, 2021, opening of “Sustenance” at the Anderson Center at Tower View. – Ruth Nerhaugen photo 

“Sustenance,” an exhibition opening Aug. 27 in the Anderson Center Main Gallery, is all about food: Growing it, serving it, sharing it, and using it as a metaphor or symbol.  

The public is invited to meet the artists from 6-8 p.m. that Friday night. Refreshments will be provided. 

Five Minnesota artists contributed original works that explore food and the cultural identities behind what we eat, according to Anderson Center officials. Works range from still-life paintings to conceptual art in two and three dimensions. 

Using their art to honor our relationship with food are Danielle Flicek, Katayoun Amjadi, Michael Jensen, Seitu Jones, and Constance Misener. 

“We talk a lot about art and culture, and when I think about those two ideas, they encompass just about every aspect of life,” said Anderson Center Director Stephanie Rogers, who curated the exhibition. 

“Culture is embedded in everything: What we choose to wear and eat, how we interact with other people. The production, preparation and sharing of food is one of the most accessible and welcoming ways to share our culture, values and time with others.” 

The artists reflect this in different ways, Rogers added. 

“Jones and Flicek are involved in growing and serving food in a direct, hands-on way, and that comes through in the imagery they use in their artistic practices.” 

As for Amjadi’s work, which is from her “Exileware” series, it is “both functional – you could actually use them to eat - and a highly conceptual examination” of what the artist describes as “transnational migration of individual and collective experiences of everyday life.” 

Misener and Jensen honor humble produce in their works, which are very different in style. 

“Through their paintings they have elevated and extended perishable produce,” Rogers said, “asking audience members to look closely and appreciate the complexity and beauty in small and seemingly mundane things.” 

The center’s Main Gallery is handicapped accessible and free to the public. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Sustenance,” which will be on display until Nov. 13, was made possible in part through a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

Ruth Nerhaugen is a retired Republican Eagle reporter who occasionally writes stories. People may reach her through the newsroom at rtnews@orourkemediagroup.

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