Whether it’s potato salad, pie crust, or something else, every family has recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next. The National Museum of Women in the Arts wants to include your recipe -- and recipes from other families -- along with work from interdisciplinary artists in an upcoming exhibit.
The exhibit, “Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals,” will take place entirely online. Opening January 18, 2021, it will run to December 31, 2021.
“Reclamation seeks to have us all reconnect with ourselves, our ancestors, and our food traditions,” the museum explains.
“Reclamation is an evolving exhibition and ingredient archive that examines food as a creative medium for visual art and a connective tool for exploring intergenerational and intercultural experiences,” the museum explains. “The exhibition centers around a kitchen table, the central domestic object for gatherings of family and friends. Nine artists will activate their own kitchen tables, sharing photographs, videos, and stories about how they use this domestic object. These intimate glimpses into the artists’ homes simultaneously reveal a work of art and the process by which it is made.”
Melani Douglass, the museum’s director of public programs, told DCist she chose women known for their artistry in different fields and practices. For example, Jenny Dorsey and Lauren Von Der Pool are chefs, while Sharayna Ashanti Christmas and Djassi DaCosta Johnson are dancers. Then there are Tsedaye Makonnen and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, who are known for their work as performance artists. Rounding out the list are Aletheia Hyun-Jin Shin, a community artist, and designer Maggie Pate. The work the artists submitted follows 25 prompts Douglass gave them.
“Wherever they eat or however they choose to prepare their food is their gallery, their own museum,” Douglass told DCist. “The one thing that ties everyone together is that there is something about the act of ‘reclaiming’ in each of their practices, something about how and why they reclaim that pushes their work forward.”
If you want to contribute and take part in the exhibition, the comprehensive submission form prompts sharing recipes, along with personal anecdotes, photos, and reflections related to the dish.
Submissions will then be interspersed with the artists’ work to create what the museum calls “a dynamic portal for exploring the interconnectedness of food and the communal nature of nourishing and curing the body.”
“In this way, both artists and viewers will use those materials to honor women’s roles in the practices and traditions surrounding food.”
The exhibition also features interviews and content from the Curative Collective, a group of partners “working at the intersection of food, art, and social change.” The organizations -- Black Magick Sisters, Dreaming Out Loud, Mutual Aid Apothecary, and STROB Apothecary -- work to help ensure that the exhibition reflects and serves their communities, while also sharing their arts and social change resources.
Submissions are already being accepted, so be sure to share your favorite family recipe, along with your memories, photos, and stories about the dish. For more of our latest news updates, click here.