Celebrating Women, Food and the Arts in March

February 13, 2012

By Ann Marie Miller
Executive Director
Art Pride NJ Foundation

Art and food have gone together over the centuries like French fries and ketchup. From DaVinci’s The Last Supper, to the Dutch Realists’ paintings of bountiful tables, to Cezanne’s still life paintings of luscious fruit, to Andy Warhol’s Pop Art Campbells Soup can serigraphs, food and art have a long and delicious history. Next month the Art Pride NJ Foundation will partner with the NJ Restaurant Association to celebrate the talents of New Jersey women in the visual and culinary arts in a month long exhibit called Inspiring Women that opens on March 5 at Hospitality House in Trenton.

When you think about it for a few more seconds, you’ll see the partnership is deeper than you might imagine at first. Restaurants serve more tables on nights when theaters are open—dinner and a show anyone? Museums increasingly incorporate dining experiences onsite to offer art lovers a respite that satisfies another sense of taste. Ask the staff at Grounds for Sculpture and they’ll tell you how important their renowned restaurant Rats, along with the Peacock Café and special event catering is to a non-profit arts group’s bottom line.

Inspiring Women—A Celebration of the Visual and Culinary Arts, is a first time collaboration between Art Pride and the NJ Restaurant Association. On opening night, culinary delights from restaurants like Assembly Steakhouse in Englewood Cliffs and Kuzina by Sophia in Cherry Hill will greet benefit patrons who browse four floors of paintings and two-dimensional work by fifteen outstanding New Jersey women artists. Tickets are $50 and all proceeds will benefit the Art PrideNJ Foundation, the NJ Restaurant Association and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Art will range from landscapes and mixed media adorning the NJ Restaurant Association’s period townhouse headquarters on West State Street. A unique silent auction will pair New Jersey artistic and culinary delights. While the featured restaurants are either owned by New Jersey businesswomen or feature the talents of women chefs, ask any restaurant owner of the opposite sex and he’ll tell you how his inspiration came from the culinary talents of a woman–whether she be a mother, grandmother or wife!

We know this is the “start of a beautiful friendship” between Art Pride and the NJ Restaurant Association. Wait—didn’t that movie feature a restaurant, too? I think you get our point, and can see the natural partnership and the many ways that the arts and business interact with and benefit each other. Please join us on March 5 in a delightful way to kick off Women’s History Month with Inspiring Women!

Ann Marie Miller is the Executive Director of Art Pride, the premier arts advocacy organization in New Jersey, and a regular contributor to the Dodge blog.