New exhibit puts spotlight on food insecurity

Published 7:11 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Vibrant photographs and colorful, Impressionistic paintings may be common on the walls at Arts of the Pamlico, but AOP’s latest exhibit is highlighting a social issue: food insecurity.

The public is invited to the opening reception of the Bright Minds exhibit from 5:30–7 p.m. at the Turnage Theatre. The exhibit is a combination of media: photographs by Meredith Loughlin depicting places and people invested in addressing hunger and paintings by John Groesser that show the beauty in food.

The purpose behind the art is to bring awareness to the issue of food insecurity — in Beaufort County, one in four children may not know where his next meal is coming from — and illuminate strategies to address hunger.

“I hope this exhibit inspires you to think about food insecurity—What are the causes? What are the temporary and long-term solutions? And what part do you play in this ongoing issue?” Loughlin wrote on a social media post about the exhibit.

“I think the exhibit is to kind of shed light on different solutions for people who might be food insecure and thinking about the solutions: how maybe growing a garden is more sustainable than getting a free lunch every day,” Loughlin said in an interview Monday.

Loughlin’s work ranges from photographs of food pantries, farmer’s markets, feeding programs and gardens. The focus may be on the subjects in the images, but the goal is education.

“It all comes back to sustainability: how can we take that into our own hands in education, educating people and the choices we make?” Loughlin asked, adding that education can come in the form of teaching people how to grow food, to eat healthy on a budget or access free programs such as cooking classes.

Inspiring action is another focus, she said.

“The ultimate goal is education for people who maybe aren’t food insecure,” Loughlin said. “People who are not food insecure, who may want to give back to the community, to help people who are struggling in that area.”

The Bright Minds project comes courtesy of a North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation grant jointly issued to Eagle’s Wings food pantry and Arts of the Pamlico. The exhibit will be on display at the Turnage Theatre until the end of the month, then go on the road. March 1–19, Bright Minds will be exhibited at the Pirate Hall exhibit space at the Old Bath High School in Bath; March 22 – April 8, at Kaye Lee’s Corner, Belhaven Arts Council, Belhaven.

Loughlin and Groesser’s work will be for sale.

The public is invited to tonight’s reception at the Turnage Theatre, 150 W. Main St., Washington.