We want to stay connected and creative with our community during these unprecedented times.
Our first opportunity we are sharing is our Virtual Pop-Up. For the next few weeks, arts instructor Elisabeth Herrera is sharing virtual activities to keep you inspired. Follow along with each activity and share your creations with us on Instagram (@atlantacontemporary) with the hashtag #ACMAKES
We look forward to seeing everyone’s creations and continuing the excellent conversations we usually have in person in a digital space.
Food and art have a long history
Food has been a universal theme in many forms of art throughout history.
From prehistoric cave paintings, to classical still life paintings, pop artists’ savory sculptures, and your favorite food Insta account. Humans have been documenting our food from the very beginning.
You can find more great examples of food in contemporary art in our digital archives
Block Printing with Veggies
In the block printing process the artist creates a printing block to use as a stamp to create identical repeated images. Rather than carving or building a plate for block printing we will be using veggies!! Kitchen scraps such as onion bottoms, apple slices, carrot ends, and many more items can be used for printing. This rose-like print is made using the root end of a cabbage. Look for items that have visual interest when you try your own veggie prints at home.
Materials you’ll need:
Fruit or vegetable scraps (carrot or celery ends, cabbage or leaf lettuce root ends, citrus slices, potato stamps)
Block printing ink or paint (tempera, acrylic, and finger paint work well for this process)
Brayer (could use sponge brush or paint brush)
Paper plate or other flat surface to roll out ink
Step 1: Prepare your materials for printing
Gather your veggies for printing. This cabbage was chopped up for a salad and the root end was stored in the fridge until printing time. Make sure the materials you are using for printing are cut cleanly leaving a very flat side. Use safe and careful cutting procedures.
Step 2: Roll out the ink
Use a brayer (or sponge brush or flat paintbrush) to roll out an even layer of ink for printing. Because I will be printing on fabric I am using screen printing ink made for fabrics. If you are printing on paper nearly any thick body paint will work very well.
Step 3: Print and repeat!
Transfer the ink onto the veggies by either rolling it on with the brayer or by pressing it evenly into the ink. Carefully transfer the inked veggie onto your printing surface. Make direct contact with the printing surface by evenly pressing the veggie to ensure all areas have made contact with the printing surface. Re-ink and repeat the process to create a series of prints! Experiment with different compositions and color schemes.
These pink towels were colored with dye made from avocados! Want to make your own natural dyes? Check out this tutorial and other projects.
Share your work!
We love seeing how you use these prompts in your artist practice. Share your creations with us on social media using the tag: #ACMakes
Want to make more art with your food?
Check out our Food as Art activity in our Virtual Friday Pop-Up page of our website.
Elisabeth Herrera-Very is an art educator working in Atlanta. After nearly a decade as a public school visual arts teacher she shifted her focus to community engagement and museum education. As a teaching artist she develops programming that provides inclusive, thoughtful, and relevant art experiences for all participants. Her programming at Atlanta Contemporary encourages patrons of all ages to explore their own creative process through contemporary art making practices and thematic instruction.