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'Kitchen Stories'
Exhibit dates: 17 October-15 November 2008.
Reception: 17 October, 6:00-8:00 pm.
Artists' talk: 26 October, 2:00 pm.

about the show artist statements directions/hours contact

     
Jason Aponte full image
"Someday Soon"
oil;16 x 24
 
Terry Arena full image
"Lean Cuisine"
oil;15 x 30
 
Nadine Boughton full image
"TV Dinner"
inkjet print;17 x 22
 
Karen Davis full image
"Dinners Are Tense"
photograph;20 x 24
Martha Friend full image
"Anything's Possible"
lit diorama;17 x 14 x 10
 
Joanne Kaliontzis full image
"Reddi-Wip"
print on panel;24 x 16
 
Lisa Link & Io Palmer full image
"A Dish From Donnie"
inkjet print;30 x 45
 
Rita Lombardi full image
"Commuter Kitchen"
photograph;22 x 18
Joetta Maue full image
"After They Left"
photograph;20 x 20
 
Carlotta Michel full image
"Marching Together"
quilt;44 x 57
 
Linda Niemann full image
"Flim Flam Factory"
collage & colored pencil;16 x 20
 
Anne Russell full image
"Studio #6"
Photo & found object;18.75 x 12.375 x 4
   
Ellen Shattuck full image
"Grilling"
linocut;16 x 16
 
Dilla Gooch Tingley full image
"Branded"
quilt;63 x 54
   
 

about the show
Curated by James Zall.

The American kitchen has evolved from a dark, private room at the back of the house to a bright, gleaming showplace that's often the social focus of a home. In Kitchen Stories, fourteen artists explore the highlights, low spots and dark corners of this complicated space. They tell stories about the social, economic and political aspects of the kitchen and, in doing so, they tell us stories about ourselves.

artist statements

Jason Aponte
website      email
A literal description of "Someday Soon" is that it represents a true domestic scene. The perspective of the viewing party is looking from the kitchen to the events that are taking place in the living room. A home would not be complete without a kitchen as would a home without companionship. This piece shows two individuals starting a life together and someday soon they will be married to fill their basic needs to feel complete.

Terry Arena
email
Modern conveniences and technology have altered the home professing quality of life for all and freedom to pursue ones dreams. Interestingly, these interweaving forces have not merely reshaped contemporary female roles.

It has become apparent that our culture is radically shifting to accommodate lifestyle choices. I find this change in social structure both fantastic and disheartening. Most of us would not relinquish our dishwashers, fast food, television, cell phones, or internet because these products purport convenience and connection. This is where my current body of work begins.

The kitchen arose as a theme primarily because in my childhood, and to this day, food and meal preparation is an integral part of my family. There is time involved and proximity is close. The processes of food preparation are respected and coveted. Desserts are made from scratch and recipes may be generations old. Mealtime has been the setting for many an argument, condolences, praises, and congratulations. In my work, I hope to address the idea that the ingredients and tools of the kitchen, that sustain us physically and emotionally, are becoming obsolete.

Nadine Boughton
website      email
As a girl growing up in suburban, mid-century America, I was shaped by the womens' magazines that arrived in our home each week. We were in love with all things "modern" -- frozen foods, sprawling homes, leisure time and the sheer array of new products to consume.

As an artist, I am drwan back to my beginnings, to the imagery and cultural milieu of the postwar period through the early 1960s. Using vintage magazines and materials, I scan and compose digital collages. My intention is to blend nostalgia for the past with the darkness beneath the "pleasures of modern living".

Food as an object of desire and comfort is a theme in my work. Being "modern" in mid-century meant getting out of the kitchen. Efficiency was key and fast foods were born -- "instant" mashed potatoes, TV dinners and Jell-O. As today, the kitchen was aplace of sleek appliances and convenience foods, without much cooking going on.

Karen Davis
website      email
When we were small, my younger sister, Cheryl, played with a set of dolls she called the "McCann Family." They were a thinly disguised version of our family. Cheryl was "Tom," the spunky boy doll. I was "MaryAnn," the girl doll. The parents were "Mother" and "Father" McCann.

At first Tom could stand alone. Later he was always losing his balance. Cheryl diagnosed Polio. She fitted Tom with crutches and braces like hers. (Cheryl was born with spina bifida.)



In "Kitchen Scenes," part of a larger series of "McCann Family photographs," dinners are tense. Father takes care of cooking and cleaning; Mother takes care of Tom; and Mary Ann avoids work whenever she can.

Martha Friend
website      email
Kitchens are the heart of any home. In my home, the kitchen is the first room one enters from the back door. Books and pocketbooks get dumped on the table. Baskets of laundry hang out on the floor on their way to the washer and dryer. The proverbial "junk drawer" holds every tool and fastener known to the human race. The scotch tape lives in the kitchen. So does the stapler and the rechargeable weed wacker. A basket of hats and mittens sits year-round on the radiator. It is theonly room in the house that has traps set out. In the hierarchy of rooms, kitchens are royalty.

Peer into anyone's kitchen and instantly know (1) their taste in art, (2) their tolerance for insects, (3) how religious they are, (4) whether they compost and (5) what their backyard looks like. And because kitchens are all about food, they can be the happiest rooms in the house.

Joanne Kaliontzis
website      email
Much of the subject matter for my art is common food packaging that has a sense of Americana or ethnic familiarity to kitchen pantries that spans multiple generations. The work celebrates these items. I strive to give the viewer a sense of warmth and happiness with my work: creating something most everyone can relate to with their own story.

As a production note, my work begins by first scanning materials into the computer. Then with a series of layering experiments in Photoshop, I create one or more images digitally. The process continues after I make a print. I may scratch or alter the surface of the print with hand details of pigments, mica powders and sometimes glitter. I finish the prints by mounting them on board and hand painting many layers of acrylic varnish.

Lisa Link & Io Palmer
website      email
We have been working for the past year on a collaborative online art space, "Serve & Project" that explores the making, production and consumption of food. We issued a "call for recipe stories" through our web site and created photomontage/digital prints out of these stories.

What lies behind each recipe is the rich, varied intriguing stories of peoples' lives and histories. The mission of Serve and Project is to be a platform for people to dialogue about social and political issues through the making, production and consumption of food. In many ways, the actual recipes are secondary -- what remains strong are the stories and ideas people bring to this virtual table.

Rita Lombardi
website      email
My images center on just one part of the kitchen, the part that makes it possible for all the other parts to be there, the refrigerator. These photographs started with the idea that an indexical catalog of the insides of people's refrigerators would reveal something about the way we live as Americans. I was also fascinated by the way we use the outside as a makeshift canvas; family photos, to do lists, and pithy magnets converge to tell another possible story.

Ultimately, this project took me through the possible lives of the refrigerator, from a single person's home to the home of a family with small children. I saw freezers full, freezers empty, blank surfaces and plastered surfaces. I found that we think we need more space for more food that will often sit until it spoils. I also discovered that we are sentimental and use the refrigerator to remind us of the things we believe in and the things we mustn't forget, whether those things are family, art or more food.

Joetta Maue
website      email
As Joanna Freuh says, "life is sloppy", and as an artist, I celebrate, question and reveal the sloppiness in our lives. The kitchen being a place that often finds sloppiness in our life, I turn to it as a subject often. However, what draws me most to the kitchen is when it is quiet and undisturbed; it becomes my oasis. Each morning I begin my day in the kitchen, this is before my family wakes up and before the demands of my day begin and I find quiet, beauty and solace.

In these photographs, I reflect on the unique moments I experience in my kitchen as part of my daily ritual.

Carlotta Michel
email
In my family the kitchen is the place where several generations of women gathered to share old recipes and try new ones - all while imparting their life lesson on those of us coming up.

My quilts, made with images from abandoned cookbooks and magazines, show how over the last century, although styles have changed the basic goals of us kitchen denizens have not. We all have the desire to please both the palate and the eye and gain the love and admiration of family and friends - perhaps with an exciting new jell-o mold or with fancy recipes from the celebrated women of the day. Strong and warm as a quilt; fortifying as a well-balanced meal; and happy as a hen party in a sunny kitchen; these are some of the many kitchen themes that run through my "Marching Together" quilt.

Linda Niemann
website      email
Mundane kitchen tasks like wasing the dishes become exciting when the sink is also the cockpit of a plane. It gives the term "multifunctional" a whole new spin when the kitchen is a spy satellite, a mythical monster or a mutant bunny. The beautiful design of stainless steel refrigerators transforms into a complicated new machine and creates a hybrid space from what was once an ordinary kitchen. Imagine cooking dinner while flying over the Andes Mountains or watching as your kitchen sails through pirate seas.

Anne Russell
email
I recently took a workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and was lucky enough to stay in one of their onsite studio apartments, which have housed local and visiting artists and writers since they were built by Days Lumberyard in 1914. The Work Center, founded in 1968, has operated at the site since 1972.

The kitchen corner was dominated by an old metal wall cabinet, painted and repainted white, with very funky silver handles. I was intrigued by its blank facade -- surely, it must have witnessed many interesting things over the years. Creative experiments, struggles, inspirations, camaraderie, competition, energy. Love affairs and broken hearts, music and daydreams. I was delighted to experience that atmosphere, and perhaps add to it as well.

Ellen Shattuck
email
I am a stay-at-home mom. I work during my son's naps. My art projects have been scaled down in size to what I can produce and pack up in any given two-hour stretch. The limitation of not having a studio separate from my house has produced some very intimate work. I work in a small scale at the kitchen table. Nap-time is my time to fantasize and enter my pre-parenting world. I am free to be vengeful and self-pitying, violent and selfish, emotions that are at odds with motherhood. The crazy-making of living with and raising small children is the subject of my work. The obsessive thinking regarding a newborn's eating, sleeping and breathing and the repetition of daily routine are represented by intricate patterning. Figures battle with kitchen utensils which are the size of themselves. They are at odds, overwhelmed or simultaneously vengeful with the act of homemaking. The kitchen is where it all happens, messy food and emotions spill out.

Dilla Gooch Tingley
website      email
The modern kitchen is a bright and sparkling, relatively colorless, antiseptic chamber until you open the cabinet door and there it is -- THE FOOD.

Designers work tirelessly and earn the big bucks to create brands and packaging so bright and cheerful you are unable to leave them on the supermarket shelf. You grab them up, take them home and hide them in the gleaming cabinet.

Generic packaging with boring boxes, albeit lower prices, was a fizzle. We love our brands. The Jolly Green Giant, the Quaker of oats, the peanut of Planters and Charlie the tuna are our friends. Feast your eyes. Here they are in "BRANDED".



The Nave Gallery, P.O. Box 43600, Somerville, MA 02143. 2004-2008 All rights reserved. info@artsomerville.org