The free exhibit Nourish is now on display. Photo: Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Va. Artist Partners with Bay Foundation on Food-Inspired Exhibit

What does the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) have to do with contemporary art? A new Virginia Beach exhibit pairs artists with expert groups focused around food—including one artist inspired by CBF’s oyster restoration efforts.

Nourish, a free exhibition running from Feb.6 to June 6 at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, features 12 artists exploring the connection between food and art.

Norfolk artist Andy Harris hand-paints paper and glues them to large wooden panels to create colorful collages; in this case, images of oyster gardens, the restoration barges at CBF’s Brock Environmental Center, and the iconic Save the Bay bumper sticker—which made quite an impression on Harris when he moved to Hampton Roads at age 11.

“Right away, I noticed Save the Bay bumper stickers everywhere,” Harris said. “That memory has stuck with me and this imagery will forever remind me of personal memories of moving to the area.”

Harris’s art pays homage to the dedication of volunteers and staff who work in all weather to build up the Bay’s oyster population.

“They show up rain or shine and do important physical labor that promotes environmental health and awareness,” he said.

In this video by Jeremy Bates Film, Harris talks about his creative process and shows his technique close up:

Harris hopes his artwork will inspire more people to pitch in for the environment.

-Meg Walburn Viviano