Inspiring Women: Celebrating Visual and Culinary Arts

February 11, 2013

“Art is food for the soul,” says social activist Dorothy Day.  Writer Nikki Giovanni remarks, “Art is not for the cultivated taste.  It is to cultivate taste.”  Interestingly, both quotes connecting art and food or taste are by women.  And so we celebrate New Jersey women artists and culinary artisans for the second year in a row with Inspiring Women at the New Jersey Restaurant Association on March 4 in Trenton.

Inspiring Women: Celebrating Visual and Culinary Arts is collaboration between the ArtPride NJ Foundation and the NJ Restaurant Association.  Fine visual art by New Jersey women artists from the collection of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions will grace the walls of Hospitality House, a magnificent period townhouse located directly across from the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton.  On March 4, women chefs and restaurant owners will offer culinary delights to attendees in a festive and art filled celebration.  Participating restaurants include Salt Gastropub in Andover, Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, as well as culinary students from Hudson County Community College who will demonstrate their skills. The artwork, which is for sale, will be on display for the month of March.  A silent and online auction (beginning today) will feature a variety of art and food in creative combinations.  Proceeds from the event will benefit ArtPride, the NJ Restaurant Association and the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.

Creative cross-industry collaborations like this one continue to be critical as non-profit organizations face dwindling resources everywhere. They are also seen as pathways to innovation and sustainability by for-profit industries including pharma, transportation, technology, and media.  The subject was the topic of a discussion that included panelists from business, healthcare, and land preservation at October’s Creative Conversation hosted by the NJ Emerging Arts Leaders. It will continue to be a shared interest among diverse disciplines as we increasingly understand how inherently arts and culture are connected to all aspects of everyday life and must be valued for their transcendent ability to bridge diverse sectors.

Last year’s inaugural Inspiring Women event was as important for friendraising as it was for fundraising, bringing the missions of both organizations to the attention of different constituencies, and gaining new supporters for both.  The history of art and food goes back centuries and crosses cultures, genders, political persuasions and geographic boundaries, making the pairing not only complementary, but delightful to the senses.  We hope you will join us in Trenton on March 4 for Inspiring Women 2, and here are some photos from last year’s celebration to tempt your eye and your palate!

Images courtesy of ArtPride

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