University Galleries and Collections

Breaking Bread: Artists Explore Food Practices

Court Gallery

November 1 - December 13, 2017

This exhibition considers the meals we eat including how we find our food, where we get our food, who we consume it with, and what meaning is created through these experiences.


Press Release

On view at William Paterson University Galleries from November 1 – December 13, 2017, the exhibition Breaking Bread: Artists Explore Food Practices features painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and performances that examine our multifaceted relationship to food. While eating is generally a mundane daily routine, this exhibition considers how we find our food, with whom we consume it, and what meaning is created through these experiences. Artists include: Ruth Borgenicht, Juanli Carrión, SPURSE, and Marion Wilson. 

Ruth Borgenicht creates unconventional eating vessels such as oversized ceramic spoons, conjoined cups, and ropes to engage participants in orchestrated, communal eating. In her experimental meals, participants experience a new way of consuming food which depends on sharing, coordination, discovery, and an openness to collaboration. These interactive activities also encourage individuals to reconnect with the physical world and be more conscious of food sources. More information is available at

In his project Zea, Juanli Carrión explores Pre-Columbian symbols and the role of corn in global economies. He studied patterns in Mesoamerican and South American cultures and identified how these designs resemble the logos of multinational corporations. During a workshop, Carrión will prepare dishes from ground maize, including arepas, gorditas, and pupusas, which are the distinct cuisine of Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico, and El Salvador. He endeavors to challenge the perceived homogenization of diverse Latin American cultures. For more information, visit

SPURSE is a creative collective focused on social, ecological, and ethical transformation. Their project, Eat Your Sidewalk, involves foraging for food and engages with local ecosystems. Through their related cookbook, they encourage people to develop new eating habits and a deeper sense of place. For this exhibition, SPURSE will display local plants such as dandelions and chicory alongside recipes for consuming them and diagrams of the plants’ migration. To learn more, visit

In Last Suppers, Marion Wilson cast the final meals of seven death row inmates using materials such as bronze, glass, resin, and iron. The artist was inspired to create this project on the eve of Timothy McVeigh’s execution and was “moved by a radio interview that spoke of the redemptive value (or not) of a death penalty for a victim’s family.” Wilson also draws upon her Episcopalian upbringing and reflects on the symbolism of Jesus’ Last Supper as an act of forgiveness. In addition to creating empathy about the death penalty, this project comments on food choices and highlights the experience of eating alone—serving as a powerful counterpoint to the collaborative-based works in this exhibition. More information is available at

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with the William Paterson University Performing Arts series, Food for Thought: A Yearlong Exploration of the Culture, Politics, and Science of Food, which features performances, panel discussions, films, and lectures during the 2017-18 academic year. 

Breaking Bread: Artists Explore Food Practices is one of three exhibitions on view concurrently in the University Galleries. For Home and Country: World War I Posters from the Newark Public Library, on view in the South Gallery, showcases more than 20 propaganda posters and commemorates the United States World War I Centennial. On view in the East Gallery, the Veterans Book Project, created by Monica Haller, consists of 50 books about recent American-led wars that were authored by a veteran, a veteran’s family member, or an Iraqi or Afghan civilian or refugee. This exhibition is loaned and administered by the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College. 

This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print educational materials are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654.


Related Events

Opening Reception

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Court Gallery