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The Daily Wildcat

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‘Food Fight’ exhibition: A deliciously good time

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Food has such an impact on everyone’s lives whether it’s a favorite entree, dessert, snack or more. For over 40 artists showcasing work at the “Food Fight” exhibition hosted by &gallery, each piece had its own unique take on what food can represent to the artists. These pieces had mixed media from beautiful sculpted jelly molds to a meat lamp. 

Cynthia Naugle, curator and owner of &gallery, was excited looking at all the pieces, especially since she had created her own as well. 

“This was a show I had been wanting to do for a long time. I like doing shows that are about culture and food is culture. ‘Food Fight’ is all about that. Each artist gives their own idea of food and art representation and whether it has to do with their culture, pop culture or just what they like,” Naugle said.

To Naugle, this is a very feel good art exhibition. &gallery will sometimes have heavy themed shows with dark content so “Food Fight” was a good way to just be fun. 

Food is community, love and culture to Naugle. Each piece showcased a side of the artists that may usually be shown at the table when eating. 

“Food is another way to represent who you are and what you’re about. Everyone has their own culture, the foods they grew up with, family and traditions. In your city and community there are also food spots that you love,” Naugle said.

A few of the pieces were tributes to Tucson places like Los Betos and  Bashful Bandit Barbeque. Others were of the artists’ own experiences with food.

Melissa Yee was one of the artists on display at the exhibition. She has done &gallery shows in the past as well.

“I do all sorts of different art things, theme wise, so doing something a little realistic was really fun to do this time, but definitely food and culture as the biggest inspiration for this piece. Half of my family is Chinese so we always meet up and get dim sum all the time,” Yee said.

Yee has always done art since she was a kid. She went to school at the University of Arizona for visual communications and graphic design. While Yee does that for her job now, her first love will always be painting and illustration.

Yee was just very willing to try with her art for such a big exhibition as well.

“I’m just really happy to be a part of such a huge show, […]. It feels great to be a part of something big,” Yee said.

Yee is currently doing an 100 day art project for herself where she draws an art piece inspired by gemstones each day. She was on day 28 when interviewed. 

One of the attendees, Genesis Rascon, frequents &gallery as often as they can. Whether it’s an exhibition or just looking at the merchandise, they’ll be there.

“I love the show. Honestly, I love everything [Naugle] curates; she works so hard and it’s so unique every single time. Every single time I see a piece of art here it’s never a vague or superficial piece of art, it’s always so fun, interesting or super emotional,” Rascon said.

One of the pieces Rascon loved was the interactive art that was at the exhibition, which was a piece painted by Burke Mexico, where attendees could throw tomatoes into the mouth.

Rascon showed up because of how kooky and amazing &gallery is. They’ve met and found amazing artists through the gallery as well. 

“I just want to give my kudos to Cynthia. I am amazed by her and she’s so cool. I just think it’s cool that she curates spaces where femme and women are able to take the lead on a lot of stuff. It’s so safe and encouraging,” Rascon said.

“Food Fight” will be up until the end of April. In addition, &gallery is going to be quite busy with the Fourth Avenue Street Fair as well as Sticker Shogun

&gallery is located at 419 N. 4th Ave. and the store hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and is closed Tuesdays.


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