Dig Baton Rouge

Teamwork: Slow Food Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge Gallery team up for a special art exhibit

Baton Rouge Gallery has teamed up with the Baton Rouge chapter of the nonprofit organization Slow Food. This partnership includes a special exhibition at the Baton Rouge Gallery starting at the beginning of this month.

This exhibition will center on society’s relationship with food. This subject area is Slow Food’s expertise. Their non-profit organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of where food comes from and promoting a more sustainable local food system.

Four different local and non-local artists are contributing to the exhibition. There will be something for everyone in this particular collaboration. The work on display will include everything from traditional prints to oil paintings, colored pencil drawings and ceramic sculptures. All of the pieces will center on the processes food goes through, such as how crops and livestock are raised to how they are packaged and shipped to stores. This exhibition is to create a dialogue about the food the viewer consumes on a daily basis.

This special exhibition is part of a series of special exhibitions that Baton Rouge Gallery is planning for their 50th anniversary this year. The gallery was founded in 1966 by a group of 12 artists that found there was a need for a contemporary art space in the Baton Rouge area.

“One of the ways we wanted to celebrate 50 years was by having some special exhibitions,” said Baton Rouge Gallery Executive Director Jason Andreasen. “Normally at a show here we’ll have three or four artists showing at a time, and they don’t necessarily have any kind of tie between them. You might have somebody doing portrait paintings, somebody doing a large-scale installation and someone maybe doing ceramic sculpture. So this year we wanted to have a few shows with all of the artists working toward the same concept.”

This is where the gallery’s partnership with Slow Foods came into play. The two non-profit organizations knew of each other, and what each was doing for the community, so the partnership seemed very natural.

“Many of us that support our sustainable food scene are members of the Baton Rouge Gallery and participate in the monthly art openings,” said Carl Motsenbocker of Slow Foods. “We thought this was an excellent melding of the farm to table movement and the local art scene.”

“We decided to have this show, and once we realized what the show would be about and what kind of topics it might be tackling, then it kind of made sense to reach out to Slow Food,” said Andreasen. “We thought about who else we could bring in to make this even more of a dynamic exhibition and add another layer to it. And hopefully by partnering you’re making both organizations and both offerings stronger.”

Discussions about partnering up for the exhibition lead to the idea of Baton Rouge Gallery hosting Slow Food’s annual Dinner in the Park fundraiser. Baton Rouge Gallery offered to let Slow Food use their park space as a close and convenient location for attendees. This was a way for the two organizations to benefit and help each other with their community outreach. Ultimately Dinner in the Park was canceled due to inclement weather, but the exhibition collaboration is still in full effect.

The exhibition was set up on Sunday, and the opening reception will be on Wednesday, May 4th. The Baton Rouge Gallery has opening receptions the first Wednesday of every month. These are an opportunity for the public to come and see the exhibitions and talk with the artists.

More information on Baton Rouge Gallery can be found at batonrougegallery.org, and more information about Slow Food Baton Rouge can be found on their website at slowfoodbr.org.

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