What can food teach us about art, community and culture? Artist Seitu Jones and Public Art Saint Paul imagined a living artwork that would ignite conversations about food, food access and food justice in the core city with the idea of changing the urban food system.
CREATE was a multi-year project (2013–2015) led by local artist Seitu Jones, whose year-long listening tour engaged St. Paul residents in conversations about food traditions, attitudes, rituals and access. Public Art Saint Paul took the lead in helping bring Seitu’s vision to life by illuminating how artists and their creative collaborators can transform the urban food system. It reached a moment of civic greatness in fall 2014 with a Community Meal for 2,000 at a half-mile long table set in the middle of Victoria Street in Frogtown. The menu was inspired by food stories of the world cultures that comprise our population and the produce was locally grown by organic farmers.
CREATE continues and expands to tables throughout the city with a series of Neighborhood Meals and deployment of mobile Art Kitchens to teach health food preparation. Produced by Public Art Saint Paul, CREATE illuminates how artists and their creative collaborators can transform the urban food system and foster the health of our beloved community. It has the power to unite people across cultural, social and economic borders and inspire an ongoing conversation between neighbors. For years to come, CREATE will expand our table and message across the city and the world.