Contemporary art and food are frequently paired together in artist projects and exhibitions in order to explore the sensorial to the political. This panel features individuals working at the intersection of art and food who will discuss why it is repeatedly mined by artists and art institutions, and what it means for the public to experience this topic in new ways within cultural spaces.
This program is part of the upcoming CURRENT:LA FOOD public art triennial on view from October 5-November 3, 2019. ICA LA is the lead curatorial team for this city-wide program. CURRENT:LA FOOD is funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.
-Sita Bhaumik, artist, writer, curator, and co-founder of the People’s Kitchen Collective (San Francisco)
-Dani Burrows, curator of the Politics of Food series at the Delfina Foundation (UK)
-John Echevestes, CEO, La Plaza de Cultural y Artes and La Plaza Cocina (Los Angeles)
-Laura Fried, founding executive director and curator of Active Cultures (Los Angeles)
Moderators: Asuka Hisa, director of learning and engagement and co-curator, CURRENT: LA FOOD; Danielle Brazell, general manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is an artist and educator who sparks connection and tells the stories of migration and belonging. Invested in research and collaborative practice, she is a co-founder of the People’s Kitchen Collective. South Asian and Japanese Latin American, Sita was born and raised in Los Angeles, Tongva Land, and based in Oakland, Ohlone Land. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Sita has exhibited and collaborated in the US, Holland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Mexico. She is the Scholar in Residence at the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts. Sita’s work is on view through March in San Francisco’s Bay Area Now 8 at Yerba Buena Center of the Arts and her first book is forthcoming from Kaya Press.
John Echeveste was appointed as CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in September 2014, responsible for overseeing all operations, programming and educational initiatives of the non-profit museum and cultural center located in downtown Los Angeles. LA Plaza opened in 2011 in two historic buildings restored by the County of Los Angeles and serves as the only museum documenting and celebrating the Latino history of Los Angeles.
Laura Fried is a Los Angeles-based curator and is a co-founder and Director of Active Cultures, a nonprofit organization that explores the convergence of food and art in contemporary life. Through collaborative projects by cooks and artists, Active Cultures’ programming takes a multitude of forms, such performances, workshops, meals, and education initiatives. Throughout her career, Fried has advocated for artists and institutions while pushing forward new models for engagement and exhibition making. She recently served as founding Artistic Director of the Seattle Art Fair, for which she organized a comprehensive program of large-scale installations, performances, talks, and projects. Fried was previously on the curatorial staff of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA, as well as a curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, where she organized major exhibitions with artists Spencer Finch, Carey Young, Sean Landers, Stephen Prina, Elad Lassry, Manon de Boer, and Richard Aldrich, among others.
Dani Burrows joined Delfina Foundation in 2013 and supported the development and delivery of its thematic programmes as well as expansion of the residencies beyond the MENSA region. She was responsible for researching and delivering artistic programmes, in particular The Politics of Food, initiating strategic development and fundraising opportunities, as well as supporting financial and team management. Dani began her career at Bonhams Auctioneers as a junior specialist in portrait miniatures, before moving to Tate, where she spent six years in the development team, working on capital projects, programme and exhibition fundraising, acquisition committees and finally running the young patrons programme. She has also undertaken a wide variety of freelance work in the UK, Europe and the USA with numerous arts organisations and artists, and as part of May Calil Consultancy. Dani works with Cooking Sections in the role of Director of Care and she sits on the strategic advisory panel of PRAXSIS. Dani holds a BA in History of Art from Bristol University.
Danielle Brazell is the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), reporting directly to the Mayor and leading a full time staff of 35. Ms. Brazell works with the progressive arts agency’s Community Arts, Public Art, Grants Administration, and Marketing and Development Division Directors to oversee a $56 million portfolio of facilities, programming, and initiatives providing arts and cultural services in Los Angeles. Prior to being appointed to this position in the summer of 2014, Ms. Brazell was the Executive Director of Arts for LA. Under her stewardship, Arts for LA became a formidable coalition advancing the arts in the largest county in the country. Her additional professional experience also includes working as the Artistic Director of Highways Performance Space and as the Director of Special Projects for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.