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Ate x 10: A Group Exhibition About Food  

Carnegie Center for Art & History
August 4 2022 to October 14 2022

The following text was written by Julie Leidner for the Ate x 10: A Group Exhibition About Food exhibition catalog at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in 2022:

Each of the nine regional, young artists featured in this exhibition* approach the subject of food through their own personal lens. Beyond picturing food the way it looks, these artists are picturing food the way it makes them feel. 


And there are lots of feelings to be felt about food in 2022. We’re two years into a pandemic that upended the ways we gathered—or didn’t gather—around dinner tables, the ways we bought food, and the ways we witnessed social inequities playing out in our communities. More troubling still, our biggest global food troubles are likely yet to come in the face of an impactful war in Ukraine, the highest inflation in four decades, and climate change.  


Food can be loaded. Some of the artists in the show use food symbols as metaphors for home, memory, or time. West Louisville native Dr. Jabani Bennett offers a self-portrait intertwined with a painting of well-loved neighborhood chicken joint Indi’s. Artist and activist Shauntrice Martin’s altar-like paintings hold vessels and plates out toward the viewer in a gesture of gratitude and kinship inspired by her ancestors. Recent IUSoutheast graduate Stashia Smyrichinsky's DIY videos of playful interactions between her friends use food almost as a prop in the performance of life. 


Even in lean times, food brings comfort. Southern Indiana native Brick Kyle exhibits seven photographs inspired by dreamy vintage advertisements of food and drink. Painter Lori Larusso and glass artist Olivia Lantz are also inspired by pictures of sweets in pop culture and the media—and like Kyle’s, there is something peculiar about their forms that make us lean in a little closer and discover their artificiality. Artist and food justice activist Taylor Sanders’ chandelier of empty grocery bags hangs in contrast to these alluring images, and their towering height in the East Gallery underlines just how out-of-reach these luxuries can be for many.


In the Newkirk Gallery, 2022 CCAH Artist in Residence Kacey Slone and Pulitzer-Prize winning photojournalist Jon Cherry focus on the source, with Cherry’s documentation of Black farmers in Kentucky and Slone’s sculptural musings on her rural Indiana upbringing, her ceramic corn cobs marking the passing of time. 


Thank you to the other artists and members of the community that contributed to the featured wall of small works by pondering the question: What does food and access mean to you? 


*The catalyst for this exhibition was the 1 year anniversary of the Community Corner food pantry at the Floyd County Library, which opened in 2021 and now serves over 200 food-insecure residents each month. Far from being the only place in our city and county helping those who are struggling the most with access to food, the pantry is one part of a web of local people, places, and organizations that offer resources to help people gain access to food and basic goods. What an anniversary calls for is not a celebration, but rather an acknowledgment: that there is a great need in our area (a fact which may not be apparent at surface level to many people), and that there are great forces for good in our community as well.


Installation view: Kacey Slone, 04.26.2020, Video performance, 2020

Installation view:
Floor: Kacey Slone, A Long Goodbye, childhood bedroom carpet, concrete, wood, 4' x 6', 2021

Walls: Jon Cherry, Michael Andrews and His Soybeans - Todd County, Kentucky, Dye Sublimation Print, 2021

Installation view:
Pedestal: Olivia Lantz, Empty, Glass casting, 2019
Walls: Photographs by Brick Kyle 

Installation view:
Ceiling/floor: Taylor Sanders, Empty Stomachs, Paper bags and lights, 2022
Walls: Acrylic paintings on panel by Lori Larusso,  

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