Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The NEW project - The Power of Ornament and the Politics of the Table

The project is not actually brand new.  I got a grant over two years ago and began to work on it...about a month later I found out I was pregnant with our second little munchkin! So I worked on phase one until I no longer could and then took a 14 month hiatus. Now that things on the home front have settled down a little bit I am off to the races again.  I completed and just received a second grant from my University Research Council  and am going to try to finish the making of this body of work in the next few months!

To save some typing I will cut and paste a brief abstract of the project from my proposal, try not to fall asleep!  Below that you will find a few images of my progress so far.

 Non-Technical summary

I am exploring the power of art to engage and inform community and to effect
change. I am creating a series of at least one hundred table settings that address the issue
of food deserts in a local Arkansas community through the use of form, imagery and
ornamentation. Food deserts are defined by the US Center for Disease Control as
”…areas characterized by poor access to healthy and affordable food…(which) may
contribute to social and spatial disparities in diet and diet-related health outcomes.” 1
Upon completion of the series I will use the settings as the centerpiece of a
community awareness and fundraising event highlighting food deserts in Arkansas. The
basic structure of event will be the advertising and selling of tickets which will cover the
cost of a meal and a table setting. There will be speakers presenting information about
food deserts and possible solutions applicable on a local and self-sustaining level. After
the meal the event participants will take home their table setting that will act as a visual
reminder of the problem of food deserts and food accessibility within the state and
hopefully keep the participant engaged in the issue.

All of the funds raised from the sale of the pieces will go towards finding a
solution to the food desert situation in Gould, AR, the community working in
collaboration with me on this project. I hesitate to state the exact use of the funds raised,
as I believe strongly that the community will best know how to spend the funds in order
to address the issue in their community. We also need to know how much money we
have to work with which is obviously tied to the success of the pieces and the event. Our
initial discussions have covered the possibility of using money raised to start a mobile
grocery store, a new development trending in the search to find sustainable and grassroots
solutions to the problem of food accessibility.

This URC grant will help support the completion of this proposed body of work
titled The Power of Ornament and the Politics of the Table. Primarily the grant will fund
the cost of printing custom designed decals which have been created from photographs
taken by Gould community members and will be used as a part of the ornamentation on
the table settings. The money will also be used to purchase of a small motor for a
vibration table that must be built and various other materials, listed in the budget section,
required to complete the project.

Julie Beaulac; Elizabeth Kristjansson, PhD; Steven Cummins, PhD,
“A Systematic Review of Food Deserts, 1966-2007” Preventing Chronic Disease: Public
Health Research, Practice and Policy, Volume 6: No. 3, July 2009,
http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2009/jul/08_0163.htm (accessed Feb. 21, 2012).

The image above is a prototype for the tableware.  I was trying to make it hollow cast but it failed miserably...and at about the same time it failed I had a baby!!!  So trying to figure out how to make this is task number one on my list of to do's to complete the project!  Below you can look at an example of a decal pattern made using images taken by the community members of Gould Arkansas and laid out in photoshop by a very talented young graphic designer Hunter Oden, now an alum of the UCA art department at the time of this project he was a student who worked with me to get this done.  Technology, especially Photoshop is my nemesis and it would have taken me far too many un-enjoyable hours to learn how to use it to create these decals.  Below that you can see an image, taken by Sam King a Gould community resident, that I will use for a silkscreen that will also be laid on the tableware.  And so there you have it my progress from the last grant.

1 comment:

  1. I love this Liz. I can not wait to read more and see more.