A new exhibit that focuses on food is on the menu at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Kirby Gookin and Robin Kahn have been curating art exhibitions for years, but tackling an installation in a space that is the size of two football fields was a whole new ballgame.
"I thought, 'Well, OK, we don't have to fill the whole space. Maybe we'll just do part of it,'" Gookin said.
But with the help of more than 30 artists, almost every nook and cranny of the massive Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the setting for The Value of Food, Sustaining a Green Planet. It's all about the issues of hunger, access to healthy food and farming.
"It became a kind of bonding between our idea of food and the cathedral's spaces," Kahn said.
You can see NASA technology used to grow fruits and vegetables in space, not to mention the inner workings of a beehive, and a painting of "The Last Supper" made from chocolate. You've heard of a cakewalk. How about a beanwalk? There is also work from noted sculptor Tom Otterness, his famous whimsical figures literally all over the cathedral.
The exhibit explores seven food themes in all – water, soil, seed, farm, market, meal and waste.
"You leave here and you think of your community in a different way, you think of the possibilities of growing food in a different way," Kahn said.
The Value of Food isn't just inside the cathedral. It's outside, too. An example is a vertical garden, which displays that you can grow a lot of good, healthy food in a small space.
The Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, the pastor who oversees St. John the Devine, hopes the exhibit will give parishioners and visitors to one of the world's largest churches an appetite to find out more about food related issues.
"Maybe they're a little bit surprised. 'Wow, why is this in a church?' But then, they begin to connect the dots, and they see that their own values and their own beliefs really can make a difference," Kowalski said.
The Value of Food opens on Tuesday. You can check it out daily from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. through April 3.
For more information, visit stjohndivine.org.