Works on paper by 45 area artists are on display at ROOM 83 Spring’s current exhibit, which pairs local art with local hunger relief. So far, the gallery has raised over $1200 for the Boston Area Gleaners, Food for Free, and the Watertown Food Pantry, as well as collecting an abundance of shelf-stable food at last weekend’s reception.
The inspiration for the benefit show came from gallery co-owner Ellen Wineberg, a Watertown artist who also works for the Watertown Food Pantry. She explained, “ROOM has been open only since February, but it’s been very well received and a lot of people we knew were itching to show there. We decided to have a June blow-out benefit to end the season. The food relief idea was a no-brainer, and we knew people would be happy to join in for this cause.”
In addition to Wineberg’s connection to local food assistance, her connection to local artist Monique Johannet led her to the Belmont Food Collaborative (BFC). Johannet, whose work is featured in the show, is the sister of BFC president Suzanne Johannet and introduced the two. The collaboration resulted in the addition of local food – including Belmont Farmers’ Market vendor Goodies’ cookies.
Of the ability of art and food to create community connections, Wineberg notes, “This multi-community cross-pollination is really exciting to me. It is optimistic and grass-roots. I read the paper every day and negativity always seems to be winning. This proves that it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Work for Food will be on display through June 26 at ROOM 83 Spring, 83 Spring Street, Watertown. Gallery hours are Thursdays, 2 – 4 p.m., Saturdays, noon – 4 p.m., and always by appointment. www.room83spring.com