Panel 16: Perspectives on Food & Culture

May 01, 2012


FRAMEWORK Panel #16: Perspectives on Food and Culture

May 1, 2012
6:30 – 8pm
Reception to follow, 8-9pm

Kaiser Permanente
Center for Total Health
700 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC
(Northernmost Entrance, south of H Street Overpass)

Transformer’s FRAMEWORK Panel #16: Perspectives on Food and Culture puts a spotlight on the relationship that we have with food -- looking at how food shapes our sense of social responsibility and personal identity, and examining its effects on art, culture, and health. 

Moderated by artist Carolina Mayorga, guest curator of Transformer’s current Bread & Butter exhibition, panelists sharing their insights include: Chanan Delivuk (Artist), Nicolas Jammet (Co-Founder, sweetgreen), Laura McGough (Educator, activist, artist), Sara Pomerance (Artist), and Bernie Prince (Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, FRESHFARM Markets). Seeking to broaden understanding on cultural perspectives of the food we eat, and extending dialogue rather than offering finite solutions, panelists will discuss the following topics and questions:

What kinds of individual experiences have triggered the panelists’ interest in the study of food?

Do the panelists’ local, national or global environments affect their personal or professional practices and how?

How far away have we as humans moved from the basic, dictionary definition of food? Is food just about providing growth and energy, or is it something more?

Will Self in a recent Harper’s Magazine article, “Gastronomia: The beatification of our daily bread”, states that “we dump our excess grain in Africa, and at the table we are correspondingly ‘wheat intolerant.’” How do the panelists respond to this statement, and how do they think the different perceptions of place and time influence reactions to food?

Carolina Mayorga is a Colombian-born and naturalized American citizen who has had solo exhibitions in Colombia, Mexico, the University of Kansas and in the Washington DC area. Her work has also been featured in group exhibitions around the nation and around the globe. Additionally, she has received several awards in Colombia and the United States and is represented in both private and public collections, including the Art Museum of the Americas (DC), The National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC), the Andres Institute of Art (New Hampshire), and the Kronan Sculpture Park (Sweden). Mayorga’s work has been reviewed in various publications in Colombia, Sweden, Spain and the United States including articles in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and the Washington City Paper, among others. For more information, visit


Chanan Delivuk is interested in the ways that food/agriculture/biotechnology relate. She has conversations with people who work in these industries then uses the audio to make a video where she becomes the person through voice. Chanan has also been creating family food diaries through audio recorded conversations, and has more recently delved into performance art as part of her art practice. Chanan relies on investigation for most all her projects, and considers research essential to her practice. Chanan received her Master of Fine Arts in New Media from The George Washington University; she lives and works in Washington, DC as the Assistant to the Director of Civilian Art Projects and as a Teaching Artist for several local non-profit organizations. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition Bread and Butter at Transformer.

Nicolas Jammet is one of the co-founders of sweetgreen, which opened its first store in 2007 and has grown to 11 stores in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  Believing in community participation, he and sweetgreen co-founders Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru started a partnership with DC Farm to School, which teaches children healthy eating habits. The trio launched the Sweetlife Festival – a celebration of music, action, and sustainability – in 2009. Jammet, along with Neman and Nathanial Ru, were named Food & Wine Magazine’s “40 Big Thinkers Under 40”.

Laura McGough is an educator, curator, and media arts practitioner. Over the past 20 years, she has organized exhibitions, screenings, and performances for arts organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. She currently teaches in the Arts and Humanities and Fine Arts departments at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Her research interests focus on creative dissent, art as social practice, artist-based activism and food justice.

Sara Pomerance believes that repetitive actions found in everyday interpersonal relationships, and individuals’ psyches and associated behavior, are potent with larger questions about perception, impulse, learned behavior and society.  Both her history as a working artist and life experience motivate a burning desire to shed light on subjects in need of investigation and exposure.  Pomerance was interviewed on the Independent Film Channel after being chosen as a top pick, and her work has been screened at multiple other large theaters and galleries in New York City and across the country.  She was awarded the “Best Artist in the Region” prize by Harry Cooper, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian’s National Gallery.  Her work was recently featured in Art Papers, amongst other widely circulated media such as Art Slant NYC, PBS and The Washington Post.  Her work is currently featured in the exhibition Bread and Butter at Transformer.

Bernadine (Bernie) Prince is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of FRESHFARM Markets, a nonprofit organization which operates 10 producer-only farmers markets in the mid-Atlantic region in 2012. She started FRESHFARM’s Food Stamp/Matching Dollars program and oversees FoodPrints—the local foods school program which includes a Food Lab, a fully functional teaching kitchen that complements the edible garden and curriculum instruction for first, third and fourth graders at Watkins Elementary School in DC’s Ward 6. For the past seven years, Prince has also worked in Australia and New Zealand, where she helped set the standards for those countries’ farmers markets. She holds an honorary position on the board of Farmers’ Markets New Zealand, Inc. Prince serves as President of the national Farmers Market Coalition in the USA.

Launched in December 2002, Transformer's FRAMEWORK Panel Series engages artists, arts professionals, cultural leaders, and audiences in conversation to create an oral 'field guide' to encourage and support individual emerging artists in our community and educate audiences through the sharing of best practices within the contemporary visual arts.  Transformer’s 2011/12 FRAMEWORK Panel Series is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts' Access to Artistic Excellence grant, "to encourage and support artistic excellence, preserve our cultural heritage, and provide access to the arts for all Americans.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health is an interactive learning destination for the public, policymakers and the health care industry. It’s a place for the nation to gather to discuss the future of health care, and demonstrate what Kaiser Permanente and others have done and are doing to advance health care in the United States.  Sharing best practices, telling stories of innovation through voices of patients, community members and clinicians, and creating new venues to learn from others and collaborate, Kaiser Permanente is continuing to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Interactive displays and technological demonstrations in the center help guide visitors and foster a dialogue about health.

Image Credit: Shannon Young, In the Middle 3, 2012, currently featured in the exhibition Bread and Butter at Transformer.

FRAMEWORK Panel #16: Perspectives on Food and Culture has been generously sponsored by: