Eliza Fernand has been living in Boise for three months, along with her art partner, Anna Weber, (their collaboration is called Wannamake, which you can check out <HERE>) conducting a residency in the Alaska Building, on Main street Boise. Once an office space, now used as artists’ studios, the space is huge and carpeted, now filled with sewing machines, scissors, snips, clips and threads. A small collection of wigs, and an extensive collection of hand sewn costumes (including a bacon body suit with accompanying egg suits.)
Eliza and I met at the Elsewhere artist collaborative last summer. She was a visiting artist, and I was a returning artist/staff member. We realized our similar artistic interests in art as social experiment, textiles and performance right off the bat, but had little opportunity to pursue any collaborative efforts amidst the fast paced schedule of Elsewhere’s summer schedule. We began communicating in long winded emails and skype conversations about a collaboration in Boise. Many thought were brought to the table about getting to know a place, and interacting in a thoughtful way amongst it’s residents. From sewing costumes to musical performances and hand made signs, we came to the decision that food was the best catalyst to evoke the sort of interactions we were both interested in investigating.
With the help of local mail artist Elijah, invitations were sent out to numerous Boise residents, most who were strangers to Eliza and I. We got almost twenty replies. Guests were asked to choose between one of three outfit options. This element of the project was in investigation of dress, and the categorization and subtleties in interaction that are effected by physical comportment and attire.
Eliza made up place-mats, to match guest’s outfits, a)All stripes, b)black white and gold, c)baby blue with red trim.
The evening began with herb infused cocktails, made from locally foraged herbs. We also foraged many greens including dandelion leaves, shepherds purse, plantain and chickweed and made up a big fresh foraged salad.
My worries of Potatoes being cliche or over eaten in Idaho were unfounded, and the Potato bar was a huge success. Toppings included:-Mushroom/white wine gravy -finely chopped tamari tofu bacon -fresh green onions -salsa -organic
-cheddar cheese For desert, rosemary infused frozen yogurt.
Over the course of the evening, all of the guests had their photos taken in-front of a green screen. Later we photo-shopped in different backgrounds, based on the guests’ “fantasy setting” that they shared with us.
Post dinner follow up included more mail packages to guest.
Printed out photos with fantasy backgrounds and special personalized Potato patches brought the project to completion.
Thank you to all of our amazing dinner guests for coming!