A Painting for a Family Dinner / Bronx, NY

ALINA AND JEFF BLIUMIS
A PAINTING FOR A FAMILY DINNER / BRONX, NY is part of No Longer Empty’s This Side of Paradise exhibition and is on display at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St, Bronx, NY until June 4, 2012

In early April, we placed the following ad for residents of the Bronx, via local media and social networking sites: “New York-based husband and wife artist team are offering a painting in exchange for an invitation to a family dinner. Please email or call for more info.”

Over the next month, we had dinner with 13 families all over the Bronx. Along this journey, we have met wonderful people, had meaningful conversations, enjoyed tasty meals and gained a new perspective on the Bronx community. 

Here are just some of the things we learned: government officials compose trance tracks after work while their kids get down to the beat in the kitchen; having a chef for mom doesn’t mean you can’t sneak scraps from the bottom of the pan; Garifunas ROCKS; stories and dancing make excellent side dishes; the Bronx has perfected a musical child delivery; live birds and stuffed toys are family members; bronxmama is expecting; a retirement home can be a museum; a Shabbat dinner can be full of adventures; the locals are taking initiative in education; an artist-mother-wife with friends from all over the world can handle it all; the definition of clamdigger and musselsucker on City Island; the pros and cons of Puerto Rican independence; and a New York Botanical Garden employee has mastered the art of cooking a perfect Thai feast.

All 13 paintings stayed in the families. But the resulting series of 13 photo family portraitsA Painting for a Family Dinner / Bronx, NY are currently on view as a single piece in the Bronx Museum.   Visit http://www.nolongerempty.org/ for more information.

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