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Four Artists Take a Closer Look at What Our Food Can Tell Us About Ourselves with 'Before the Fork' - Presented in partnership with Slow Food Baton Rouge 


Baton Rouge Gallery (“BRG”), a BREC facility, invites visitors to join four contemporary artists in examining if where our food comes from can tell us something about where we are or where we’re going with its new exhibition, Before the Fork. The exhibition will touch on a variety of topics ranging from the breadth of Louisiana’s agricultural economy to modern food packaging, from the controversy surrounding the use of GMO crops to the transformation of natural land into profitable land. 

The four artists featured in this exhibition are Frankie Gould, Diane Hanson, Ross Jahnke and David Scott Smith. 
This exhibit is the second of four 2016 exhibitions – scheduled in part to celebrate BRG’s 50th anniversary – which offer a select group of artists each presenting complementary bodies of work addressing a singular concept. 
Before the Fork will be on exhibit at BRG May 1 - 26, 2016 with no admission charges during normal gallery hours (12-6 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday). 
BRG is proud to partner with Slow Food Baton Rouge in presenting Before the Fork. The nonprofit organization is a chapter of Slow Food USA, whose mission is to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system. They accomplish this locally through programs such as Greauxing Healthy Baton Rouge (a model farm-to-school program).  
A ‘First Wednesday’ Opening Reception will be held at the gallery (1515 Dalrymple Drive) to celebrate the exhibition on May 4 from 7 – 9 p.m.  As always, ‘First Wednesday’ Opening Receptions are free and open to the public. 
Typically held on Sundays, this month’s ARTiculate Artist Talk has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 7 due to the Mother’s Day holiday. In honor of this special exhibition, the gallery’s ARTiculate Artist Talk series will offer a panel discussion – moderated by author and 225 Magazine writer, Maggie Heyn Richardson - that will look at the farm-to-table trend and allow for discussion of how the exhibition’s featured artists created the works on display. Panelists include City Pork’s corporate chef, Ryan Andre; artist and Communications Director for the LSU AgCenter, Franie Gould; owner of Fullness Farms, Grant Guidroz; artist Ross Jahnke, President of Slow Food Baton Rouge, Carl Mostenbocker; and artist David Scott Smith. ARTiculate begins at 4 p.m. and is also free and open to the public. 



Frankie Gould
A BRG artist member since 1985 (and the current Communications Director for LSU’s AgCenter), Frankie Gould uses Prismacolor pencils and acrylic paints to explore the colors and seductive shapes found within Louisiana agriculture. From sugarcane to soybeans, poultry to cattle, she celebrates their importance for the local economy and public health through bold colors, lines, textures and an element of whimsy. A $12.3 billion industry, Gould reminds viewers that whether you are talking about the food you eat, the clothes you wear or the homes you live in, agriculture plays an incredibly significant role in our lives.  
Diane Hanson
With her bittersweet “Sugar Coated” series, Diane Hanson explores efforts to manipulate, control and organize the world around us, focusing on agricultural practices of transforming natural landscapes into profitable land. Each cupcake is populated with a vignette that highlights the “complicated and immense effort needed to produce the food we all consume.” Having grown up on a farm, Hanson brings a unique understanding of the challenges facing farmers to her work; meanwhile, her role as a new mother has heightened her awareness of the quality of food her family enjoys. Hanson has been a BRG artist member since 2008.
Ross Jahnke
A printmaker and painter, Ross Jahnke has always sought to inspire people to give a second look at the things around them daily. With is work, he has focused on “the stuff that comes into the house with little fanfare, things that define us as individuals and as a culture without our knowing.” The woodcut and screenprints featured in this exhibition include depictions of French fries, hamburgers, and cones of sherbet alongside cellophane-wrapped cupcakes and fortune cookies, all of which attempting to walk the line between desire and repulsion, between healthy and poisonous. Jahnke has been an artist member with BRG since 1992. 
David Scott Smith
For just his second exhibition at BRG since being named an artist member in 2014, ceramicist David Scott Smith brings a socially-conscious and admittedly dark humor to his work. Featuring works from several different series, Smith uses stoneware, fabric and translucent porcelain to examine how human consumption has led us to self-destructive habits and thinking. Issues such as corporate farming, GMO cultivation, and the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup are all fair game for his playful but thought-provoking work. Smith sees a national crisis in growing childhood obesity rates and diabetes, one that we are not doing enough to combat before the problem is made worse. 


If you would like more information on this exhibition or on any programming or events at Baton Rouge Gallery, please contact us at 225.383.1470.