Date of Graduation
Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)
Second Committee Member
bronze, food, foundry, participatory, socially engaged
As an artist who participates in socially engaged arts, it is paramount in my practice to cultivate the balanced power relationship between the audience and artist by providing an ongoing safe environment, accessible subject matter and venue location, and a mechanism that not only calls for participation from the audience but empowers them through direct action. Meet Everyone with Art at Location and Time or M. E. A. L. T. Phase 1 is a mobilizable art exhibition with the long-term goal to meet the audience where they are and to offer an alternative to traditional person-to-person interaction and socializing.
M. E. A. L. T. represent both food and the classical sculptural material choice of cast bronze. Cast bronze is historically reserved for monuments, memorials of dignitaries, and event markers of cultural significance. I choose to transform common food items into cast bronze sculptures because I believe they are icons. They are the icons of the morning rituals, must have on hand condiments, cheat day pleasures, grocery essentials, late night snacks, and ready to order family meals that are culturally representative of the American (and sometimes global) experience. They bind one another together because of how ubiquitous, accessible, relatable, and comforting they are to our daily routine.
During each showcase, guests are welcome to sign the M. E. A. L. T. guestbook to share their writings. The guest book presents an opportunity to discover commonalities and differences, to experience a multitude of perspectives, and participate in a community through a visual and tactile medium.
This thesis is the backstory of how individuals contributed towards this communal artistic endeavor and the ever-evolving criteria of a socially engaged artist who calls for person to person interaction during a viral epidemic. I was a foundry specific artist who eventually realized that his practice was a community driven and not object-based practice.
LeBlanc, M. L. (2022). Meet Everyone with Art at Location and Time; M.E.A.L.T. Phase 1. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/4486