PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center will host an opening reception today for an exhibit that combines information about food insecurity with art.
What’s for lunch? features work by Peninsula Fiber Artists members exploring the meaning of food and nutrition. The opening will be from 5 to 7 pm today at the center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
It will remain on display at the Esther Webster Gallery during regular gallery hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., until May 14.
Emily Dexter, Executive Director of the Port Angeles Food Bank, will present at the exhibit’s opening reception to highlight food insecurity issues and needs in the community.
A food and supplies drive will run throughout the length of the exhibit with a donation box available in the gallery.
Although admission to the gallery is free, visitors are encouraged to bring items to donate. Requested items include stable meal kits, pouches and easy-to-heat items, canned or boxed soups, snacks, crackers, crackers, popcorn, nuts, personal care items, pads and tampons, and pet food.
“We are grateful for the partnership with Peninsula Fiber Artists and the Port Angeles Food Bank,” said Christine Lue, executive director of the arts center.
“Together we use art as a vehicle to address pressing issues facing our community,” she continued.
Amy McIntyre, events coordinator for the Port Angeles Food Bank, said the agency receives staples like rice through other donation means such as government programs and nonprofits, and other programs provide fresh produce.
“So what people really want is good food on top of that,” she said. “Regardless of our circumstances, we all want the same things—flavor and sauces, spices and seasonings.”
Those attending the opening will also hear from curator and internationally acclaimed quilt artist Caryl Fallert-Gentry about the creation of the exhibition.
The exhibit was inspired by the late Whidbey Island resident Gene White.
White, who died in 2021, was the founder of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and was internationally recognized for her lifelong dedication to child nutrition advocacy.
Peninsula Fiber Artists (PFA) has already honored White’s legacy through its exhibition of vintage mink coats.
Lead organizers drew on White’s passion for sustainable, nutritious food to develop this latest exhibit, according to Rachel Stork, the arts center’s director of community engagement, in a news release.
The exhibit features textile art in a variety of fiber mediums, including quilting, collage, felting and even sculpture by 26 PFA members.
The work is by Port Angeles artists Diane Williams, Evette Allerings, Marilyn Heistand and Pamela Hastings; Kathy Cook, Lisa Fagerlund, Linda Carlson and Lynn Gilles of Sequim; Erica Iseminger and Mary Tyler of Chimacum; Joyce Brustad Gordon of Nordland; Barbara Haushmand, Barbara Ramsey, Caryl Fallert-Gentry, Cindy Lerouge, Debra E. Olson, Irene Bloom, Joyce Wilkerson, Leslie Dickinson, Maggie Grate and Pat Herkal of Port Townsend; Dale Walker and Donna Dowdney of Bainbridge Island; Jeri Auty and Terri Wolf of Port Ludlow; and Donna Lark of Redmond.
Several themes emerge from the artwork: food ecosystems, cultural perspectives on eating, our eternal love of sweets and sustainability through local food movements, Stork said.
“The rituals of gathering, preparing and eating food culturally, socially and politically connect us to one another,” Lowe said.
“Food serves as a fundamental tool for how we shape and engage with our world and is often at the center of life’s most important moments,” she added.
“Stories develop in the process of gathering for a meal. We are excited to explore the stories and themes that emerge from this exhibition.
Much of the artwork in the show will be available for purchase. Artwork sold through the arts center supports both the artist and the programs, exhibits and educational offerings.
In addition to the gallery exhibit, the arts center will explore the topic of food and nutrition with educational programs including field trips, workshops and community conversations.
Two youth workshops on food and fiber are already on the schedule: Textured Sandwich Workshop on Thursday, March 23, and Pizza Pillows next Thursday, March 30.
For more information and tickets, visit www.pafac.org/programs/youth/workshops.