The Gallery at TCC explores the world of food through art

Diana Fairbanks’ “Goldendale Griddlecakes” is one of the artist’s paintings of food items playing a large role in her Northwest landscapes. Photo courtesy of Diana Fairbanks

The Gallery at Tacoma Community College will open its winter show Tuesday, Jan. 2. Each year, the gallery has a themed exhibition, in which local artists contribute art related to a particular theme. This season, the theme was “Food.” For the show, there are works by almost 40 different artists. Some of the pre-show buzz mentions Barbara Bohn Patterson’s paintings of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Diana Fairbanks’ pastries and other foods placed amid Northwest landmarks. The official reception for the show is Jan. 18.

Lynette Charters Serembre’s “Missing Women” series utilize the woodgrains of her painting surface to function as the flesh of figures in her art, here she draws upon work by the French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin. Photo courtesy of Lynette Charters Serembre

The show runs all the way through March 16, allowing the gallery ample time to play host to a veritable festival of events having to do with the intersection of food and art. On different dates, folks will have the chance to come to the gallery and explore everything from world cuisines to the art of casting sculptural forms in chocolate. See the list below for a schedule of events.

For more information on the show and the gallery, visit

Schedule of events

Food in Literature and Film

Jan. 2-March 16, TCC Library, Building 7

  • A book and film display organized by Jill Merritt

This fascinating display takes you on a journey of art through literature and film around the globe. The display is open during regular library hours; materials displayed are available for checkout.

Japanese Dishes

Jan.26, noon to 12:30 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • A gallery talk by Rick Mahaffey

TCC art professor Rick Mahaffey invites you to join him on a journey of exploration through Japanese cuisine.

Your Gastrointestinal Tract: An Alimentary Journey

Jan. 29, 11 a.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • A gallery talk by Mary Stobie

Mary Stobie, TCC Nursing professor, is prepared to take you on a different journey, an alimentary journey.

Poetry Reading: Music, Food and Love

Feb. 7, 7-8 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • Inspirational reading by Michael Magee

Michael Magee is the “coordinator” for the Poetry Box at Freighthouse Square. His most recent books include “Vanishing Points: From Ballarat to Ravenna Park” and “Dementia: Love is a Blur.” Join Magee at the gallery for inspirational reading on music, food and love in poetry. Bring a poem.

Food of the Gods: Chocolate

Feb. 9, 1:30 p.m., TCC Gig Harbor Campus

Feb 14, noon and 6 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • A lecture with tastings by Marlene Bosanko

Marlene Bosanko self describes as a passionate chocolate scholar. She pursues academic research on chocolate, the food of the gods, regularly teaches classes about chocolate, and holds private tastings. She has presented papers to academic circles in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and California. On the speaking circuit, she was once paired with a cardiologist who addressed the health benefits of red wine, while she addressed the health benefits of chocolate. Bosanko claims to have inherited the chocolate gene; she knows that chocolate does not only taste good, it is also very good for you. Bosanko’s talk will trace the history of chocolate from its beginnings in the New World to the Old World and back again. They’ll do some tasting along the way and end by raising a cup of chocolate and saying, “Thanks Q!” And you’ll know why.

Chocolate Casting

Feb. 21, 12:30 –2 p.m., TCC Building 5

  • Demonstration by Kyle Dillehay and students

TCC art professor Kyle Dillehay and his students will do a hands-on demonstration of casting with chocolate in the sculpture classroom.

Food in Art

Feb. 27, 12:15 –12:45 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • A gallery talk by Marit Berg

TCC art professor and chair Marit Berg will add a new taste to your sense and understanding of art as she explores the role and influence of food in art.

Out of Eden

Feb. 28, 5:30-7 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • Food performance by Ben Meeker

An examination of vegetarian philosophy in six courses. Out of Eden is a six-course vegetarian meal prepared for six “diners,” served within a sculpted environment. Each course begins with a spoken word performance or literary reading followed by a dish that represents or reflects that course. The courses are designed to follow a biological, anthropological, psychological and philosophical evolution both literarily and culinary. Meeker provides the conversational stimulus and culinary rumination. The “Art” is the dinner conversation between guests as they consume the stimuli and the meal.

Pop Food

March 9, 1-1:30 p.m., TCC Art Gallery

  • A gallery talk by Michael Huffman

TCC’s professor of humanities and composition studies, Michael Huffman, invites you to explore and appreciate a whole other side of food.

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