Keeper of the Plans

Is it a meal or is it art? Food the focus of new CityArts exhibition

Eat alongside Mr. Crunchy, the cat

Watch as Mr. Crunchy, a cat with no teeth, eats a bowl of wet cat food. See five more VHS tapes just like it, created by Ian Blume, at CityArts this month. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle)
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Watch as Mr. Crunchy, a cat with no teeth, eats a bowl of wet cat food. See five more VHS tapes just like it, created by Ian Blume, at CityArts this month. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle)

A little tube TV sits on a wooden cabinet at CityArts.

On the TV, you can watch a man eat a turkey sandwich for 15 minutes. Then, you can watch Mr. Crunchy the cat eat his food for 13.

But Ian Blume’s “Eat-Along” series of VHS tapes is only one part of “Bibs and Forks,” a curated exhibition about food.

“Bibs and Forks” is filled with everything from traditional still-life paintings of wine and cheese to a sculpture of spilled ice cream on the floor – aptly titled, “Summer Portrait (Tempered by Disaster).” It opens this Final Friday.

Emily Brookover, who co-curated the exhibition with local artist Dustin Parker, said she was inspired by a “beautiful” painting she once saw of a TV dinner.

“It’s beautiful, yet it’s also funny and ironic,” Brookover said.

The exhibition has a definite contrast between artists who took a more traditional tack on the subject and ones who brought more humor to the topic.

Brookover said themed exhibitions like this are fun for both the artists participating and the public attending.

CityArts is not done yet with food-themed activities – next month, it’s scheduled to host a “Cupcake Challenge” as well, which is unrelated to the “Bibs and Forks” exhibition.

None of the artists actually made their artwork with food, though there was nothing technically preventing that, Brookover said.

“I’m really surprised that it didn’t happen,” she said with a laugh.

The exhibition will hang through Aug. 19.

For more information, visit www.wichitacityarts.org or call 316-350-3245.

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

‘Bibs and Forks’

When: Opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Fri. Normal gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

What: Co-curated exhibition of food-themed art – featuring local artists Brad Ruder, Richard Crowson, Rachel Foster, Kelsy Gossett, Christian Taylor, Ernest Vincent Wood III, Jack Wilson, Wade Hampton, Charlotte Martin, John Pirtle, Dane Jones, Ian Blume, Michella Tripoli, Brady Scott, Charles Baughman, Lauren Fitzgerald, Torin Andersen and Christian Taylor.

Where: CityArts, 334 N. Mead

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