In every generation, the dining table has been more than a mere surface on which to serve food. In a broader sense, the table has been a silent observer of changing ideals and beliefs.How do we eat, play, work, think, organize, gather, and converse at and around this important icon of American life? What does it mean to come to the table today? Co-curators Brittany Venturella and Annmarie Ventura explore the idea of the dining table with all its various implications, both past and present, through contemporary art.
Participating artists are Sandra Bloodworth, Amy Charmatz, Molly Heron, Jen Hitchings, Eileen Hoffman, Robert Knight, Megan Maloy, Julie McHargue, Joe Moore, Mollie Murphy, and Susan Napack.
TABLEau is guest co-curated by Brittany Venturella and Annmarie Ventura, students in the Museum Professions
Graduate program at Seton Hall University. The curators are hosting a free and public Drop-In Tour at the Pierro Gallery on November 12 at 3:30 p.m.
In the exhibition, artists utilize photography, collage, painting, craft and sculpture to interpret how families use the table today. Serving as a place to eat, research, converse, and uphold tradition from generation to generation, the table silently observes our lives and acts as a showcase for societal change.
The table can be a home for tradition. Several pieces of art speak to dining traditions and the importance of the “perfect” place setting. Eileen Hoffman’s piece, Her Mother’s Dishes, composed of knitted plates on a vertically-hung backdrop, tell of a woman’s pride in the art of table arrangement in the 1950s. The expression of table decorating as a part of the broader dining experience is also seen in Sandra Bloodworth’s The Gathering. The painting documents a meal where the host strategically planned dinner courses, a table arrangement and a floral centerpiece.
The table can be a platform for conversation. It is where people gather to discuss everyday mundane topics to life-changing matters. Conversations like those are sewn into a vintage table cloth in Julie McHargue’s Memories.
The table can be a reminder. A table is a silent witness of its owners’ changing lifestyles. Susan Napak’s Classic Tableau is a photograph of a mirror reflecting the image of her in-laws’ dinner table. Years ago their table served as a center for entertainment; now, it houses paperwork and pills.
Along with reminding us of personal memories, the table’s use reflects societal change as people become more plugged-in to technology and the daily pace of life steadily increases. The formal place setting tradition is disappearing and is replaced with fast food. In Joe Moore’s Jaberwocky, fast food containers with their recognizable design printed backwards, are displayed on a mirrored platform that corrects the image. His work is, in part, a critique of the prevalence of fast food in the home and the diminishing role of a home’s dinner table.
To find out more about the artists and their artworks in TABLEau or follow the exhibition blog, visit www.tableauexhibtion.wix.com/tableau.
For More Information: Brittany Venturella and Annmarie Ventura Co-Curators, Pierro Gallery of South Orange firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday October 30- Saturday November 26
Opening: October 30, 7-9pm
Art Talk: Thursday November 20, 7pm
IN-SITE: the Intersection of Art and Architecture
The Lennie Pierro Memorial Art Foundation with The Village of South Orange, Pierro Gallery (PGOSO) announces IN-SITE: the Intersection of Art and Architecture opening this fall. This is an outdoor sculpture exhibition in Meadowland Park and down town South Orange. It explores relationships between art and architecture including contemporary approaches toward the environment and habitat as well as re-appropriating existing architectural elements in contemporary art. The works include site-specific pieces as well as installations of existing work. Curators: Jeanne Brasile (Director, Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University; independent curator in the tri-state region; nationally recognized artist) and Tom McGlynn (independent curator; nationally recognized artist; writer) With oversight/participation from: LPMAF Director: Judy Wukitsch and PGOSO
September 21-October 19, 2014
Opening reception: Sunday, September 21, 2014