Join 21c Museum Hotel as we celebrate 5 years in Bentonville with the opening reception of Labor&Materials. Start the night with remarks about our new exhibition from Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites, followed by a panel discussion with Alice, artist Lina Puerta, and filmmaker Ava Lowrey of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Afterwards, stay for the ultimate pajama party with live music by Funk Factory, performance art by ArkansasStaged, and inspired bites and cocktails by The Hive. PJs optional but highly encouraged.
Event is free and open to the public.
There is a suggested donation of $10 (cash or check only!) for entry, which will go directly to the Southern Foodways Alliance.
About the Exhibition
Exploring the evolution of industry in the 21st century, Labor&Materials presents a precarious balance between promise and peril. The scale, scope, and speed of technological innovation heralds unprecedented changes in what, how, where, and by whom goods and services are produced and provided. Economists describe the explosion of radically new platforms and products emerging in the digital age—robots and other forms of automated labor, self-driving cars, three-dimensional printing, the explosion of bits and pixels transmitted across the internet, and the growing global network of trade driven by the shipping container—as an inflection point: a time in human history when how we live and work is utterly transformed. What does an inflection point look like? How will the widespread transformation of commerce and consumption affect access to goods and jobs, to information and infrastructure?
About the Artist
Lina Puerta’s series From Field to Table: Seven Tapestries Honoring Latino Farm Laborers from the American South—on view in the current exhibition at 21c Bentonville, Labor&Materials —honors the people who work labor-intensive crops predominantly grown in the southern United States. Puerta uses a wide range of materials, combining fabrics, cotton and linen pulp, ribbons, beaded appliqués, fur, feathers, and chains, to create images of the leaves, flowers, fruit, and pollinators who contribute to the process of bringing food from the field to the consumer. “I love the idea of the worker being part of this chain, or process, or dance. I think that there is something poetic in that whole process that I wanted to highlight,” the artist notes.
Puerta holds an MS in Art Education from Queens College/CUNY and is recipient of several residencies and grants including: the 2017 NYFA Fellowship, 2016 Dieu Donné Workspace Residency, Artprize-8 Sustainability Award, 2015 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, 2015 Kohler Arts Industry Residency (WI), 2014-15 Keyholder Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop, 2013-14 Smack Mellon Art Studio Program, 2014 Materials for the Arts, 2013 Wave Hill Winter Workspace and the 2010 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. Exhibition venues include: The Museum of Biblical Art, El Museo del Barrio, Socrates Sculpture Park, Wave Hill, Geary Contemporary, NYC and Pi-Artworks in London. From Field to Table: Seven Tapestries Honoring Latino Farm Laborers from the American South was co-commissioned in 2017 by 21c Museum Hotels and the Southern Foodways Alliance.
About The Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the diverse food cultures of the American South. The work done by SFA sets a welcome table where all may consider the history and future in a spirit of respect and reconciliation. The member-supported organization is based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. They collect oral histories, produce films and podcasts, publish great writing, sponsor scholarship, mentor students, and stage events that serve as progressive and inclusive catalysts for the greater South.
Image: Lina Puerta (Colombian-American), Chili Pepper Crop Picker (detail), 2017. Mixed media.