“‘At the Table’ Traces the Ways We Interacted With Food Through the Pandemic”

Published on Jul 29, 2022

Francisco Palomares. Francisco’s Fresh Paintings, 2020. Fruit Cart, oil paintings, umbrella, gourd, piñatas, mexican blanket, 54.5 x 47 x 22 inches. Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena is opened new group exhibition on Friday which explores the many ways the intimate and communal connection between humans and food have been severed or challenged during the lockdown in 2020 and 2021 triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exhibition, called At the Table, can be experienced at the Armory Center’s galleries at 145 N. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena.

Through artwork, documentary photography, recorded narratives, and ephemera, At the Table creates space for reflection on the role food plays in our lives as individuals and in our communities and traces the effects of the pandemic on the ways we interact with and consume food.

Artworks and documentation on view will use food as both subject and material to speak to and create community, examine personal histories and narratives through ingredients and culinary traditions, and respond to social injustices related to food production and distribution.

At the Table is on display at Armory Center, located at 145 N. Raymond Ave., through Sunday, Dec. 4. Admission is free.

The artists, projects, and collaborations included in this year’s exhibition are Jackie Amezquita, “Champions Feed Champions” presented by the Inglewood Community Fridge, “domingo” presented by The Crenshaw Dairy Mart and The Mistake Room, Yrneh Gabon, Yeu “Q” Nguyen, Francisco Palomares, and alvaro parra.

On July 30, Sept. 24, and Nov. 5, Francisco Palomares leads a workshop inspired by his “Francisco’s Fresh Paintings” installation included in At the Table. After a short presentation of Palomares’ work, workshop participants will be collaging and drawing a street vendor fruit cart inspired still life from observation.

On Aug. 4, Jackie Amezquita will lead an activation of her ongoing project “Proclamación,” a performance/installation where people gather to eat on top of slabs made by Amezquita. Each slab is made by hand using soil from different neighborhoods across Los Angeles, “cal hidratada” (hydrated lime) from Latin America, salt, and corn masa. The dishes eaten upon the slabs represent Los Angeles’ rich culinary diversity. After the activation, these slabs will be incorporated into the exhibition installation.

On Aug. 13 and Oct. 1, as part of her “Empathy Table” social practice fiber art project, artist Yeu “Q” Nguyen will lead a series of workshops where visitors will learn how to make their own custom “emotional dumplings,” fabric dumplings stuffed and marked with difficult emotions. Workshop participants will be invited to contribute their emotional dumplings to the Q’s At the Table installation, giving visitors a chance to come together around a table to create, have conversation, and share their creations and emotions.

On Sept. 1, a screening of the film “Vendedores en Acción” (2021) will be followed by a conversation between alvaro parra, the film’s director, and Faustino Martinez and Caridad Vazquez, street vendors featured in the film.

At the Table is organized by the Armory’s Exhibition Program Production Manager, Heber Rodriguez, and is made possible with support from the Pasadena Art Alliance and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Lead support for all Armory programs comes from the Los Angeles Arts Recovery Fund.

Masks are required for all Armory visitors and staff, regardless of vaccination status. All visitors aged five and up must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

Reservations are now being accepted through Aug. 7. Admission is always free. Donations are appreciated.

For more information, call (626) 792-5101 or visit www.armoryarts.org/exhibitions/2022/at-the-table.

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