Monday, February 25, 2013

Food Dance Welcomes Artist Conrad Kaufman to March ArtHop for Live Painting Demonstration

On the first Friday of each month, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo hosts a popular Art Hop at dozens of venues thorughout the downtown area. On Friday March 1, renowned artist Conrad Kaufman – and six of his studio artists – will be set up in the private dining room at Food Dance for live painting demonstrations from 5-9pm. The studio artists include Jodi Arnett, Eric Klein, Susan McBain, Patti Sholler-Barber, Sharon Strazdas and Brian Walters.

Throughout the evening, guests will have the chance to talk to the artists and see their work in progress. This piece of art will be auction off that evening with proceeds will going to Fair Food Matters – a local non profit focused on educating and empowering the community around local food. The artwork, however, will remain on display at Food Dance throughout the month of March.

“Not many places in Kalamazoo have artists paint live,” says Michelle Miller, marketing director for Food Dance. “It’s such a great experience for the guests to support the community through the art and the art of food.”

Kaufman’s work can be seen throughout Food Dance – in the shape of corn fields, fairies and pumpkins that make up the unique décor. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Kaufman – a native of Bangor – has ties to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and teaches weekly classes at his Fence Rows Studio in Galesburg. With more than 17 years experience in painting murals in the Kalamazoo area and throughout Michigan, many of his murals are outdoors, on public and private buildings, and some have involved large groups of volunteers in their creation.

When Food Dance moved to its current location in 2007, Kaufman was contracted to create the larger-than-life farm-influenced décor – including floor to ceiling corn stalks which house a collection of fairies and a vibrant orange pumpkin that adorn the walls of the marketplace. Those who had visited the original Food Dance location may recall Kaufman’s work adorning the walls there as well.

“We wanted to keep the Food Dance décor and feel and he recreated it bigger and better at our current location” Miller says. “The pumpkin and vines in the market were actually transported a few blocks to its new home at 401 Michigan Avenue.”

Kaufman’s demonstration during Art Hop is free and light hor d’ouevres will be served. A slide show will also run on the large-screen HDTV featuring the artists work and the community work that Fair Food Matters focuses on. Food Dance will also be open until 11 pm for those wishing to enjoy dinner, dessert or drinks.

As one of the original West Michigan farm-to-fork restaurants dedicated to using locally-produced food, the culinary team at Food Dance works to provide a positive environmental impact and educates its staff and guests on the importance that this mindset has to the culture and community in which we live. Food Dance also supports the belief that we are all mutually-accountable to obtain excellence, by providing opportunities that create community engagement through great food and great service.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

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