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Artists Remember County's Farming Past in 'Seeing Food' at Kramer Gallery

Local painters, filmmakers and photographers were challenged to explore food and culture in the latest exhibit at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

Is there any other necessity in American society more culturally significant than food? Consider the dozens of tongue-twisting ways we now describe where our food comes from—locally grown, organically sourced, grass-fed, free-range, farm-to-table and so forth—not to mention the television shows, magazines, books and radio programs dedicated to cooking, farming and eating. 

That's what Dr. Michele Cohen, curator of the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery inside of the Silver Spring Civic Center was thinking when she brought Seeing Food, the gallery's latest exhibition, to the neighborhood. 

Seeing Food reminds us of Montgomery County’s agricultural roots and explores the ways in which artists have both viewed and manipulated food, whether in paint, fiber, photographs, glass, video or poetry,” Cohen explained. 

Local artists have thought about what food and food sources mean to Montgomery County and created everything from oil paintings to documentaries. 

Filmmaker Mark Pagan created a short film that "examines the psychological links between food preparation and family," according to a release from the gallery. Susan Callahan, a chef and college professor, created a quilt for the exhibition. One artist, Maritza Rivera, created a poem with the verses hanging across vending stalls in the Brazilian tradition of Cordel. 

In all, 15 artists created works inspired by food. 

The exhibit will be on display until May 24 with an opening reception Thursday, April 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Rivera will give a poetry reading at 6 p.m.

The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

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