Buttery Spread, Curated by Emma Honcharski and Chas Wagner
November 9 – December 30, 2023
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:
The artists and authors in Buttery Spread use food as a starting point, in one way or another. They explore form and materiality, pleasure, craft, labor, identity, desire, wonder, queerness, and our relationships to the earth and each other. Many of these pieces present evolving disciplines and share how what we consume is a part of what we create.
In the reading room, you’ll find publications that are creative in their approach to presenting food. These artists’ books, zines, magazines, and alternatively published printed materials expand the functional notion of a cookbook or recipe book. A book about walking, shoemaking, and bread making; a collection of writing and art on agriculture, the earth, and queerness; a zine published in the depths of COVID on the illicit exchange of toilet paper for dried beans, posh chocolate for home-made hand sanitizer, and other non-market-based transactions centered on the human experience.
At present, there is no space in Pittsburgh where these publications would find a home, all together. What does it mean for these pieces to occupy a single place? How can we engage with and occupy gallery spaces alternatively? How can we learn to stay a while?
The visual art in Buttery Spread presents familiar food objects with a playful twist, a sense of whimsy. A fish sandwich takes a fantastical shape, an ear of corn becomes a boat, potatoes are presented in all of their holiness. We want you to remain curious.
Featured artists include Vania Evangelique, JR Holtz, Darian Johnson, Sarah LaPonte, Lauren McCoy, Steph Neary, Sophia Pappas, Rosabel Rosalind, Jennifer Shin, Gabrielle (Gabe) Wolfe, and Imin Yeh.
This exhibition also includes a library of books, zines, and magazines. Check out the full list of publications here.
Get Food for Thought at Buttery Spread, a Culinary-Themed Art Exhibition on the South Side – Kristie Graver. Pittsburgh Magazine, November 20
ABOUT THE CURATORS:
Emma Honcharski and Chas Wagner first connected when Chas asked Emma to speak about Dinner Bell Mag for a monthly speaker series at Bottom Feeder Books in Fall 2022. The two are co-founders and co-directors of the Pittsburgh Art Book Fair, which recently held its inaugural event at the Carnegie Museum of Art in September 2023.
Emma Honcharski is an artist, writer, and media strategist from Ossining, New York and has lived in Pittsburgh since 2014. She has collaboratively published a food writing and art publication (Dinner Bell Mag) since 2019. Currently, Emma is the Engagement Manager at NEXTpittsburgh and Executive Assistant at Benci Productions. She joined the board of Bunker Projects in 2023. She is also working towards an MBA and MA in Food Studies at Chatham University, with a thesis project focused on alternative spaces for food and togetherness.
Chas Wagner is a curator and community organizer living in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. He started The Print Party in 2020—a curatorial and retail platform for independent magazines, showcasing titles across sport, design, art, and fashion. He is actively involved in work with local organizations such as PA Master Naturalist of Allegheny County, East End Food Co-Op, Troy Hill Art Houses, Tissue Farm, Pittsburgh Bibliophiles, and Bike Pittsburgh; and is a co-founder of the Allegheny Sport & Outdoor Film Festival. His projects gravitate toward large community gatherings, inspired by his time living in Boston, Brooklyn and Upstate New York.