Grab & Go

Grab & Go (2019) is a multi-part relational work responding to the addition of a cafe to the main 230 Fenway building of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. The seen and unseen costs of gaining fresh food options in a highly trafficked community space are spread on the table for all to consider.

Bins were set out for one week inviting cafe patrons to "fork over" their used plastic forks, knives, and spoons. A total of 167 utensils were collected, with many more walking away to be discarded elsewhere on campus. The artist then collaborated with cafe employees to divert plastic packaging generated by one day of operations; with limited space for food preparation, the cafe serves meals prepared offsite and transported in plastic bags for reheating. Three large trash bags of food packaging were collected.

After handwashing debris from the plastic bags, they were cut into strips and woven into a tablecloth corresponding in size to the cafe tables. Students reported the act of depositing their used plastic utensils daily compelled them to carry reusable options to reduce personal waste. Sitting to dine at the tablecloth, however, they are faced with another scale of plastic waste product. Healthy, fresh food options now proliferated where vending machines were once the only choice, raising subsequent questions of who is responsible for changing how they operate in our consumeristic society, and who has the power and positioning to make such changes.

Grab & Go
Tablecloth: 62 x 70 inches
Used plastic food products from one day of SMFA cafe operations.



Reimagining Our World: Rejected Materials Reinvented, LexArt: Lexington Arts & Crafts Society (Lexington, MA), curated by Martha Heller and Adriana G. Prat for i3C Artists