Food for Thought: Artists Exploring Foodways


Food for Thought: Artists Exploring Foodways brings together 15 artists and collaborative teams working with a variety of photographic media who stir up new considerations at the intersections of food and contemporary culture. Like a lively dinner conversation, this exhibition is centered around food, but expands into larger themes of labor, economics, family, nature, and society.

The diversity of approaches by these artists expresses the complex ways the language of food can speak.  The kitchen as a nexus of family dynamics is shown in the photographs of Dona Schwartz and Linda Varoma, and in the humorous videos of Hillerbrand and Magsamen. Dana Sherwood’s feasts for wild animals and Rebecca Memoli’s vases explore the tension in the human/animal interface.

Several artists bring domestic labor into new light through their use of materials: Luisa Hübner’s kitchen implements; Bridget Conn’s tea-soaked collages; scarred cutting boards by Judy Haberl; and embroidered obituaries in Jane Waggoner Deschner’s work.

Chow and Lin examine global economic disparity, while Ciurej and Lochman interrogate consumption in Recipes for Disaster. Lindsey Beal’s study of infant feeders and Santina Amato’s Portraits of Women with their Weight in Dough address views of biological connection. Stephanie Shih’s ongoing project, Asian American Still Life, explores Asian diaspora traditions.

In what feels like an ever more divided America, Kate Medley’s gas station kitchens invite us to gathering spaces that provide unexpected community, generosity, labor, and creativity.

Foodways connect people to a geographic region, a climate, a period of time, an ethnic or religious group, and a family. As such, the exhibition offers a cornucopia of engaging programming opportunities, from chef-curated culinary experiences to panel discussions focused on health and nutrition; or using food and innovative storytelling to engage the public in discussions about differing cultures. Youth activities can play upon the action of following recipes and the history of instruction-based art.

Food for Thought is co-curated by Barbara Ciurej, Lindsay Lochman, and Aline Smithson and evolved from a series of features on Lenscratch, the online journal of contemporary fine art photography. Founded by artist and educator Aline Smithson in 2007, Lenscratch is a platform dedicated to supporting and celebrating the photographic arts and photographic artists through exposure, discussion, community collaboration, and education. They also provide an ever-expanding database of opportunities for artists and useful information about both creating and promoting their work.

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Exhibition Details

  • Content

    Fee Includes:
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    Barbara Ciurej, Lindsay Lochman, and Aline Smithson

  • Organized By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee


  • In-Region Rental Fee


  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet

    Approx. 220 ft

  • Square Feet


  • Security


  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    Approx. 4 Crates, Weight TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.

Tour Schedule

Food for Thought: Artists Exploring Foodways is touring June 2025 through May 2030. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

Downloads & Resources

Click HERE to view and download the Factsheet for Food for Thought: Artists Exploring Foodways.