Last November, Congress voted for a bill that allowed two tablespoons of processed tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable. The decision not only flew in the face of common sense, it also undermined efforts to create more nutritious school lunches, a move that could reduce childhood obesity and future healthcare costs.
Lori Larusso’s installation Pizza is a Vegetable is the newest in our ongoing Art = Food installation series comprised of site-specific works created for Cafe Muse. With her work, Larusso calls into question the various forces that contribute to a modern food culture that would allow pizza to be designated a vegetable, one that leans toward hypercapitalist interests and focuses less on our common health. Utilizing food imagery that calls to mind Michael Pollan’s concept of “pastoral fantasy,” Larusso points out the contradictions and complexities embedded in our food culture and illustrates how our expectation of fresh and healthy food is often exploited—primarily through advertising—to benefit the gargantuan food industry.
Lori Larusso currently holds the James Rosenquist Artist Residency at North Dakota State University. She was born in Massillon, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and a minor in Women’s Studies. She earned an Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s graduate interdisciplinary program, the Mount Royal School of Art. Lori has worked in the community as an advocate and has also maintained a solid studio practice, continuing to show her artworks regionally, nationally and internationally.
Pizza is a Vegetable will hang in Cafe Muse through May.View Event
It doesn’t look like much yet, but construction work on the future Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity has taken a number of steps forward. Asbestos has been removed, walls and structural elements are being improved, and plumbing and electrical are being updated. Compared to the state of the building prior to the beginning of construction, the above photo represents a massive improvement.View Event
On Friday evening, we had a capacity crowd for Michael J. Strand’s talk “The Space Between: Art and Humanity.” Despite a shortage of seating and some technical difficulties, Michael delivered a memorable talk highlighting his approach to socially engaged projects and expressing the delight in the stories and lives he has been able to share through those projects.
The evening also served as a kickoff for Michael’s newest endeavor, The Misfit Cup Liberation Project, which asked participants to bring in little-used “misfit” cups and trade them in for a cup hand-thrown by Michael, but only if participants left the cup’s story along with the cup. Everyone was intrigued and delighted by the process, and the stories provided with the cups documented a wide array of emotions, from humor to bittersweet loss.
Click the thumbnails to embiggen.
Plains Art Museum is proud to be part of Giving Hearts Day 2012, sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation. If you make an online contribution of $10 or more to the Museum at impactgiveback.org on Tuesday, February 14, your gift will by doubled by a generous match from the Otter Tail Corporation. We invite you to give from the heart and show some love for the Museum!
Mark your calendars for February 14 and bookmark impactgiveback.org!View Event
Brittany Greenwood, a graduate student in architecture and a member of artist Michael Strand’s Engage U group, installs “orphanages” for the Misfit Cup Liberation Project, an ongoing project by Strand. Strand will put a hand-fired cup in each of the wooden “orphanages.” The public is welcome to bring in their own misfit cup and exchange it for one of Michael’s, provided they also leave a short story about their own cup. Michael will be speaking about this and his other recent projects in a talk at the Museum on Friday night.View Event
We had a ball at the opening reception for Art on the Plains XI, held on Saturday, January 28. A boisterous crowd showed up to catch the first few glimpses of this regional juried exhibition, including an impressive showing from the featured artists, many of whom traveled to be part of the festivities.
Artists winning awards during the reception for their work:
1st place – Jamie Burmeister, for two works; a video installation entitled The Music Within My Head and an installation of ceramic figurines entitled vermin.me.
2nd place – Keith Taylor. He has two photographs in AOP: Hill, The Badlands, and Rain Cloud, The Badlands.
3rd place – Raina Belleau, for her work Dignity in Dexterity.
Receiving honorable mentions were: Amber Fletschock, Mark S. Manke, and David Sebberson.
AOP XI will remain up until May 20 in the 1st and 3rd floor galleries, and it’s a perfect opportunity to brush up on the work of our region’s most exciting artists.
Special thanks to Dave “Bulldog” Arntson of Milestones Photography for the photos.View Event