The Curated Palette offers the art of food

Food and art collided for an Authentic Augusta experience June 6 at the Westobou Gallery.

“We have a lot of charcuterie spreads at our openings,” said Kristi Jilson Sikes, executive director about the evolution of the idea for Westobou’s Authentic Augusta experience called The Curated Palette. “And it’s not always the traditional charcuterie. It might have trail mix.”

Often the food reflects the art hanging on the wall.

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The current exhibition at Westobou is CON-TEXT by Aort Reed, a contemporary artist, who uses a variety of mediums when putting together a piece of art. Reed happened to drop in on the gathering unaware it was taking place.

One work on display at the gallery is called Subtly in Nuances featuring bold color and shapes.

Aort Reed stands next to Subtly in Nuances. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Reed said the work was done in phases. He often has several pieces in process at one time. He’ll devote his energy into one and then move to another returning to the initial piece at a later time.

For that piece, he used spray paint, acrylics, some oil paint and charcoal. It had multiple layers giving it a texture and a sheen.

Some of Reed’s works are larger than life, but one section of wall featured smaller paintings.

Sikes conveyed how they chose the paintings for the exhibition and how they planned out where each piece would be hung and with what other works.

On one wall, colors tied three paintings together as well as an open eye design that appeared in them.

The participants received a checklist with a variety of words on them to spark them into describing the art. Those words were also written on the table next to food items that people could choose for their boards.

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Kristi Jilson Sikes talks about Aort Reed’s artwork for The Curated Palette at the Westobou Gallery. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

The offerings included the traditional cheese and meat, as well as chocolate, raspberries, candied nuts and honey. And since Reed uses spray paint, there were several edible spray paints for those who wanted to get creative with their food.

 Sikes said she chose one of the smaller works for her example charcuterie board. The work had “messy” elements, but there was also a sense of organization through its boxy lines. To reflect that organized chaos, she carefully stacked crackers next to a messy pile.

Participants could literally interpret their boards, or they could do a more thematic approach.

Westobou is one of 10 different locations in Augusta participating in the Authentic Augusta experience.

Other experiences include having tea with the mother of President Woodrow Wilson at the Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson; meeting with the Black Caddies of the Augusta National at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and following a rogue journalist at the Morris Museum of Art.

The experiences are offered twice a month at each location.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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