The Value of Food

Food Art at St. John the DivineBy Jean Blish Siers *

Until April 3, 2016, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City continues a multi-media installation, The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet. Tucked into the bays and chapels of this grand cathedral (Interesting fact: Although still technically under construction, it is the largest cathedral in the world!), the exhibit grapples with food insecurity, food waste, accessibility, and sustainability. The Cathedral has used the exhibit as a springboard for a variety of educational and cultural events throughout the community.

Food Art at St. John the DivineI also loved the Dutch artist Tom Otterness’ installations, nestled into the still-incomplete pillars throughout the sanctuary. Cartoony people clutch fruits and vegetables, as well as loaves and fishes. In several spots, they’re surrounded by dollar signs. To me, they represented the many ways that money keeps people from getting the food they need. It was made more striking by the gorgeous blue sunshine streaking through the soaring stained glass windows.

Food Art at St. John the DivineIf you get a chance before the exhibit ends, stop by. It’s encouraging to see food access getting an increasing amount of attention from all areas, and also exciting to see the growing involvement of faith communities in an issue that’s as old as Leviticus.

*Jean Blish Siers is SoSA’s Charlotte Area Gleaning Coordinator.

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