Notes From Workshop #24: Food And Arts: A Marriage In The Public Market

JANUARY 26, 2016

FROM THE WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT:

What kinds of installations, performances, and interactive engagement will work in the Boston Public Market/The KITCHEN?

What does, or could, a marriage between food and art look like?

Are there ways to incorporate into this new generation of activation other elements within the Trustees’ portfolio -- which now includes The KITCHEN -- of community gardens and open space?

Helping to frame up this brainstorming workshop were: John Vasconcellos, formerly Senior Regional Director, Boston and the Southeast, for The Trustees; Cheryl Cronin, CEO of The Boston Public Market; and Mackenzie Sehlke, Assistant Market Manager, Programming.  This will be the start of a long-term initiative, and we’ll be announcing next steps at the workshop itself.

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Workshop participant responses/recommendations, by category:

1. Illumination

  • Outside: projections/light shows/lasers/lighted sculptures

  • Signature art piece: cf. BSA Green Staircase

  • Simple, but fun, signage

2. Marketing/communications

  • Need to communicate experience to those who may be interested (both in- and out-of-town)

  • Consider building’s visibility

  • Generate attention/curiosity via building mapping, projections, art 

  • Lighting: opportunity for contemporary projection on exterior

3. Vendor engagement

  • Programming: vendors bring live music from their area/farm/town

  • Local music/local food

  • Screens in market with recipe ideas, based on specific ingredients from vendors

  • Branded bags with spaces for vendor-specific info stickers

4. Civic engagement

  • Outside “directional” interventions/art that lead people to the BPM/KITCHEN

  • Live streaming video of kitchen activities, visible in the market and/or on the street

  • Create a “community table,” instead of a buffet experience: people talk about their food experiences/share recipes/knowledge

  • Field trips: from schools to market, AND from market to schools, via truck/bus

  • Students study grocery/market layout, food production, entrepreneurship, design

  • Traveling empty school bus w/pop-up kitchen

  • Farm visits: sign up at Market

  • Culinary competitions: different age groups

  • Interview people: experience in the market; sound bites for media

Develop a BPM/Kitchen app, to include:

Storytelling (about vendors, farms)

Pop-up BPM/Kitchen-branded stall(s) to be placed in different communities

Community Garden “State Fair” – e.g., which garden has the best tomato?

Connect Market to:

Local gardens

Economic diversity

Cultural diversity

5. Partnerships: “home-made food,” “home-made art”

Bring artists/artisans into Kitchen to demonstrate

  • Metal fabrication

  • Woodworking

  • Letterpress printing

Find out what surrounding groups/businesses/organizations do/need, and find a connection via the content of the Market/Kitchen.

Promote homesteading programming:

  • Canning, cheese-making, kombucha-making, candle-making, etc.

  • Give space over to craft market once/month or so, focused on food-farm-related items

  • Work with region-wide waterfront fish businesses, including fishermen/women

6. Food-as-art

  • Vegetable art

  • Latte art

  • Competitions for all ages to make food art

7. Venue

  • Extend market and kitchen images/atmosphere/character into (throughout) other parts of the building

  • Kitchen doesn’t look inviting from street; looks like private space: make it look exciting

  • Both BPM and Kitchen need to be or feel “messier”

  • Make the street entrance the primary entrance

Activate the public/private perimeter – i.e., the outside edges around the building

  • Flowers, stands with produce, street performers, painted murals on sidewalks

Add art in hallway + lighting +vendor programming and art in hallway: call it Nourish

  • Art installation in hallway, changeable, a la Dewey Square

  • Overall, plan for/implement ongoing series of temporary installations throughout the two spaces