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Food Is Art / Art Is Food Prospectus

NOTE TO APPLICANTS: The GAAC will offer an on-line version of Food Is Art / Art Is Food that will be viewable on the GAAC website. A traditional, in-gallery version of the exhibition will be designed in response to State of Michigan COVID-19 operating guidelines. 

Glen Arbor Arts Center [GAAC]
May 28 – August 19, 2021
On-line application period: The application periods closes April 15, 2021 at midnight.

Visual artists throughout time have found food a rich, inspiring subject. Food Is Art / Art Is Food takes an expanded view of the subject. Here are some thoughts about food that move beyond what’s on your plate:

  • What happens when food is a design element? Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s 16th Century series Four Seasons, for instance.
  • What happens when food is use as an art material?
  • What are the rituals connected with food? Thanksgiving and the family dinner, for instance.
  • How do the implements + artifacts connected with food become metaphors? From the Buddhist begging bowl to Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party?
  • How does one feed the spirit? What does that look like? What shape and form does that “food” take?
  • How does one feed the mind? If people “consume” information, then what’s nutritious information? What’s information junk food? What does that look like?
  • Food comforts. What does that look like?
  • Still lifes — those arrangements of inanimate objects including wine bottles, clusters of grapes, cheese wedges and the carcasses of unplucked fowl — have been a cornerstone of visual art since Egyptian times. What does a 21st Century still life look like?

Visual artists have used food to both celebrate and critique the world; express ideas about politics, race, class, gender, and commerce; and investigate American identity. How do you understand and think of food? What does that look like? Realistically or abstractly, metaphorically or as a statement of fact?

Looking For

Visual art in 2D + 3D. Work must be made by the applicant between 2019 and 2021.

Open To

2D and 3D work, including clay, collage, drawing, fiber, furniture, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, wood. If food comprises part or all of an entry, the food must be preserved in such a way that it is stable and maintains its integrity throughout the course of the exhibition; does not decay, develop mold, invite unwanted visitors such as rodents to the GAAC gallery.

Size Restrictions

2D work should not exceed 48” in width or 65 in length.
3D work must be freestanding and easily moved, not to exceed 35 pounds. Because of companion programs planned in conjunction with the exhibition, 3D work will be occasionally and temporarily relocated in the gallery and in the GAAC.

Application Fee

Applicants may enter up to two [2] submissions for the juror’s consideration. $25 GAAC member, $35 nonmember. This is a nonrefundable fee.

Exhibition Calendar

  • Exhibition runs May 28 – August 19, 2021
  • Apply on-line: Application period ends April 15, 2021 at midnight.
  • Applicant reporting: Third week of April 2021
  • Shipped work deadline: May 17 – 20, 2021
  • Artwork drop-off: Friday, May 21; and Saturday, May 22. 9 am – 2 pm both days.
  • Artwork pick-up: Friday, August 20; Saturday, August 21. 9 am – 2 pm both days.
  • Reception: An opening reception in the GAAC gallery will be dependent upon State of Michigan COVID-19 operating guidelines.


Tim Nielsen is a graphic designer and studio artist living in Traverse City. He attended the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit, and graduated with a BFA with High Honors/Ceramics and Graphic Design from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, in 1972. Tim has continued his visual arts education at George Brown University, Toronto, ceramics; Ontario College of Art, Toronto, textile printing; Kent State University, Ohio, digital design and illustration; Eastern Michigan University Masters Program, European Studies, typography; and Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, ceramics. Tim worked for design firms in the US and Canada before founding the Nielsen Design Group, Traverse City in 1982.


Three awards made possible by Amy L. Clark-Carels Family Fund will be given: $300 Best of Show award; and two, $100 Merit Awards.


  • Work submitted must be one-of-a-kind, innovative and original in design. Work derivative of other artists or work created in a workshop with the collaboration of an instructor is not accepted.
  • A single entry may be comprised of multiple units [e.g. a diptych]; but may not exceed the maximum dimensions or weighs described in the SIZE RESTRICTIONS section.
  • If offered for sale, a single entry comprised of multiple units must be sold for one price. The individual units may not be sold separately.
  • Work submitted must have been completed in the last two years [made from 2019 – present].
  • Work must be gallery ready when submitted. Paintings and other wall works should be finished or framed. Please use gallery wire. No saw tooth hanging hardware is allowed. No wet paintings, or work submitted on warped canvases will be allowed.
  • No work will be accepted after the dates and times for delivery listed on the prospectus.
  • The artist’s contact email provided on the application must remain active during the submissions and exhibition process. The artist is responsible for checking their email for exhibition acceptance and/or decline, and other information regarding the exhibition.

Artist’s Statement

Applicants selected to exhibit work in Food Is Art / Art Is Food  will be asked to submit a short [100 words max] artist’s statement that provides viewers with some context for looking at the artwork.


  • The sale price written on the application is the FINAL price if the work is accepted in the exhibition. Exhibitors may not change sale price after the work is accepted for exhibition.
  • The GAAC will retain a 40% commission on work sold during the exhibition. Artists receive 60% of the final selling price. Artists will receive payment following the close of the exhibition.

NOTE: The GAAC staff and Exhibitions Committee reserve the right to the final selection of work to be shown in the exhibition. Accepted work may not be removed before the close of the exhibition.

For More Information

Contact Sarah Bearup-Neal, GAAC Gallery Manager: 231-334-6112.

Submit application here >>

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