By Kristen Oelschlagel
An internationally renowned photographer is using The Garden of Eden to make a statement about locally grown produce.
“The pieces are beautiful and at the same time it talks a lot about the way we’re living our lives right now, how we’ve modified our food and it’s not locally grown and consumed anymore,” said Susan Holland, curator of John M. Parrott Art Gallery in Belleville.
Photographer Andrzej Maciejewski is bringing his exhibit, The Garden of Eden, to the gallery as part of his tour across North America. It has also been shown internationally in Germany and Poland. The exhibit features 24 still-life photographs of fruits and vegetables with their original supermarket packaging and stickers.
Holland said she jumped at the chance to have this exhibit in the gallery.
“I think it’s important. The statement the artist is making is relative to our time, there’s an awful lot of buzz about grow locally, eat locally, the 100-mile diet.”
She said another focus of the exhibit is the contrast between old and new.
“The pieces are photographs of fruits and vegetables bought at the supermarket but styled like the old masters. It’s old-fashioned photography, he used a viewfinder camera, which is not digital,” said Holland.
They have also invited 19 regional artists to submit pieces in a variety of media to be shown alongside The Garden of Eden exhibit.
Holland said the Buy Locally exhibit will be a nice contrast to Maciejewski’s more serious work.
“We thought a non-photography still-life show with contemporary subjects would complement it but be a lighter more whimsical take on the same sort of idea,” she said.
The Garden of Eden will be in Gallery One and Buy Locally in Gallery Two. Both exhibitions will open on July 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They will run until August 23. Viewing is free to the public.