New exhibit turns food into art

Posted on: April 08, 2013

“Tomato with Pushpins” by Jennifer McNichols is part of College of the Mainland Art Gallery’s exhibit “Processed,”now on display through May 2.

Master chefs are often hailed as artists, but a new exhibit at College of the Mainland Art Gallery shows artists as chefs, concocting a wry combination of hardware and hot dogs.
In “Processed,” now on display through May 2, Texas artists Jennifer McNichols and Emily Peacock explore the colorful, quirky and dubiously nutritious world of commercial foods.
“[Photography professor] Kristy Peet picked these two artists because both work on same issue of modern food,” said Art Gallery Director Mayuko Gray.
The vivid photographs look at familiar foods in an unfamiliar way.
“I started to think about the similar shapes and colors of the food that I grew up on,” said Peacock. “[The exhibit] explores the beauty, form and texture of these processed foods. The images are bright, colorful and simple, highlighting the peculiarity of each food.”

A simple meal becomes complicated when artists combine tomatoes with pins and baked potatoes with bolts.
“I asked myself: How might the world so many of us live in be reflected in the food we eat? The answer I arrived at felt wry, funny and rueful at the same time—comfort foods and convenience foods rendered uncomfortable or inconvenient, recipes for disaster sure to confound or irritate those who dared attempt to consume them,” said McNichols.

A free reception and artists’ talk will be held April 11 at 1:30 p.m. in the COM Art Gallery. The gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. For more information on the gallery, call 409-933-8354 or visit

This untitled photograph by Emily Peacock is is part of College of the Mainland Art Gallery’s exhibit “Processed."

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