Art Your Food: Who Can Make the Tastiest Work of Art?

Marcello De Marco (November 01, 2010)
The first edition of the IMAF festival was presented at the Italian Cultural Institute. An art competition to honor the heritage and cultural importance for italian emigrants of food and culinary art.

Italian food has always been one of the most appreciated and well-known aspects of the Bel Paese’s culture. Strong of a tradition reaching back in time over the centuries, Italian chefs were among the first artists to make themselves appreciated in the New World, as countless Italian eateries testify today. Furthermore, Italian cuisine is not only an occasion to showcase Italian talent abroad, but also a cultural meeting point for those who left their country.

The International Migration Art Festival (IMAF), at its first edition, wants to celebrate this Italian tradition in relation to migration with an international art contest: Art Your Food.

On October 26 a press conference held at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York illustrated and inaugurated the project. Riccardo Viale, Director of the Institute, was present at the event and opened the conference stressing the importance of Art Your Food for the city of New York. Lucia Pasqualini, Deputy Consul, conveyed Consul General Francesco Talò’s best wishes to the manifestation.

The rules and structure of the contest were explained by organizers Rossella Canevari, René Manenti and Elena Maria Manzini, introduced by Simonetta Magnani, Attaché for Cultural Affairs, Art, and Cinema at the Italian Cultural Institute.

They also explained how this idea was born: food can be a bridge between nations. It invites people from different nationalities and cultures to sit at a table and experience tastes and aromas together, while sharing ideas and points of view in a convivial setting. This power of food is something unique and deserves to be celebrated, and this is precisely what IMAF wants to do.

The Festival has the support of many organizations, such as the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Milan’s local and provincial government, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in New York, as well as the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles.

Art your food will present artists active in the fields of Film, Literature, Visual Arts and Music,

competing in three different cities: Milan, New York and Los Angeles. Anyone can sign up for the competition online from November 1, 2010 to March 1, 2011 for the New York and Los Angeles editions, from September 15, 2010 to December 10, 2010 for the Milan edition.

All submissions will be visible online in order for the public and the jury to vote.

Forty finalists (10 for each category) in each city and 5 winners will be selected (1 for each of the four categories and 1 from the public vote). Finalists and winners will be awarded the opportunity to showcase their works and meet influential professionals in their field.

The award ceremonies will take place on March 20, 2011 in Milan, April 2011 in New York and May 2011 in Los Angeles.

The conference was followed by a sublime performance by violinist Victoria Voronyansky who played music by Bach and Piazzolla related to the IMAF theme.

Artist Michela Martello, member of the IMAF organizing committee, improvised painting on paper and was so appreciated that her work was sold to a private collector immediately after the event.