SMC displays "Good Food" art exhibit

With the worlds' many ongoing global issues affecting the way we consume our food, new ways of learning to appreciate food, both visually and physically, are frequently appearing. Different issues were surveyed through student artwork at the opening reception of "Good Food," an exhibit hosted by the Santa Monica College Art Department last Friday at the Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery of the Performing Arts Center. Support for naturally grown food was a strong theme expressed in the exhibit. "Sick Sad Bananaz," an oil painting done by student Jack Preston Shanks, was composed of sad looking banana characters expressing a feeling of neglect.

"I think we really need to focus on agriculture more again, and I feel the farmers are being ignored," Shanks shared when asked about his work. He hopes that awareness for family and locally grown foods over artificially grown foods will make a strong comeback.

SMC Professor Walter Meyer, who teaches the Art History, gave a lecture called, "The Roll of Food in Art."

He voiced how he was thrilled at the successful turnout of guests for the night's event noting how he felt that the particular event was the most spectacular student show he had ever seen in his eight years of teaching at SMC.

Meyer spoke about some of the highlights of the artwork that included a lot of political commentary on food.  "There is the idea of fruit, the good stuff which you usually can get people to eat, there's the meat which we're not supposed to eat too much of, and then the processed food, candies, and fast food," said Meyer.

Meyer also pointed out the use of the body itself, how we look at our bodies as potential objects of consumption, and how desire ties in to that. He continued on how the Global Citizenship Council was the main inspiration in this event taking place by trying to have important themes to help encourage people to think globally. Last year's theme was water.

One of the highly stunning visuals was the work of student Lana Cinetskaya's art mannequin "Gaya."  Lana was one of the three students whose work was recognized through an award granted by the Art Department.

Another piece of Lana's that stood out was the mural of soil and food crops called, "What to Do with Your Resources." It had the word "share," engraved in the soil in all capital letters. Lana feels that people need to share resources in an orderly manner to improve the global food market in this time of constant increasing population growth.

"Dreaming of Pollination," an interesting work of art by student Francesco Raneri, was made with real dead bees. "If all bees ever die, so will the human race eventually," Raneri said. Because we rely on bees to pollinate most of our food, these creatures prove to be our friends, more than we often think.

"Good Food" runs until April 21.