2019: Welcome Feast

Daniel Minter, Mother’s Garden (Sketch for Installation), 2019

Culinary diplomacy: a field of diplomatic studies that examines how food can be used as a tool to promote relationship-building, cooperation, and peace.

This summer, public art has the chance to bring our community a little closer together. For our summer 2019 project, TEMPOart has commissioned Daniel Minter, a Portland-based artist known for his work in painting and sculpture, and co-founder of the Indigo Arts Alliance, to explore the relationship between public art and culinary diplomacy. Through a series of monumental wood sculptures titled Mother’s Garden, Minter’s project will address the cultural traditions and food of the African Diaspora and recent immigrants to Portland.

In partnership with Portland Trails, the location is a green space near the trail at Kennedy Field in East Bayside, an area experiencing a rapid cultural transition emblematic of the city at large.

In concert with Minter’s installation, Anna Ackerman of World to Table will match chefs from Portland’s New-Mainer community with chefs from Portland’s blossoming restaurant scene to create menus for three public meals at the project site. Representatives of Portland’s diverse communities will be invited to share the meals that will hopefully spark conversation in a uniquely beautiful outdoor setting.

The program of outdoor public art and culinary diplomacy will be designed to bring together Portland’s diverse populations through an inspiring sculptural installation and community meals. Local non-profits will conduct youth programs in art, writing and food exploring the food cultures of their countries of origin and their new Portland home.


Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts