Worcester Center for the Crafts
25 Sagamore Road Worcester MA 01605
Contact: Honee Hess, 508-579-8564 (cell)
For Immediate Release
CULINARY IMAGININGS exhibit presents first solo show of
Photographer Donna Dufault
Worcester, MA--Privileged to enter the inner sanctum (the kitchen) of chefs all over the East Coast, photographer Donna Dufault lets us discover the places where the chefs’ and the restaurateurs’ tools momentarily sit as they wait to be put into service. Over 30 photographs, some in groups and representing two series from her work, CULINARY IMAGININGS is the first major solo show of Dufault’s work. The show opens January 20 in the Center’s Krikorian Gallery with an opening reception on January 25, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 pm, a Monday evening so that those in the hospitality industry can help celebrate this remarkable work and photographer.
The exhibit is the culmination of many years photographing behind the scenes during breaks from the commercial photography work she does with photographer husband, Scott Erb through their business Erb Photography. The show is on view through February 27. Media sponsor is Mass Foodies, an online publication debuting this winter.
“I’m fascinated by the art of preparing food and the tools used to create it,” said Ms. Dufault. “The dents, scratches, cracks and patina all create beauty in their imperfections. I truly enjoy tracking down the tools, and documenting their vulnerability from human treatment.” The resulting images which are included in the show are sometimes very abstract imaginings, while others are more clearly about the objects themselves.
In conjunction with the exhibit, a program of culinary storytelling entitled “HUNGRY MINDS” will be held on Monday, February 1 at 5:30 pm. In addition to Ms. Dufault, local culinary greats from different backgrounds and experiences will tell engaging and entertaining stories from their own culinary imaginings: Chef Chris Rovezzi (Rovezzi’s of Sturbridge, MA), Brendyn Schneider (professional storyteller), Domenic Mercurio (publisher, Foodies of New England Magazine), and Chef Alina Eisenhauer (chef and owner, Sweet Bar and Kitchen). Mr. Mercurio will also provide a mini-wine tasting courtesy Mercury Media & Entertainment.
On February 27 to close the show, the public is invited to a Pasta Dinner where you eat the food and take your hand-crafted ceramic plate home with you. A reimagined event from the annals of Craft Center history, the Pasta Dinner is sure to get you collecting plates! Tickets ($40 per adult; children under 12, $10 paper plate) will go on sale for the Pasta Dinner in late January.
“Having Donna’s work here on view is a coup for the Crafts Center,” says Candace Casey, Krikorian Gallery Director. “Photography is one of our craft mediums and creating beautiful things to serve food on and with is one of our passions. It’s a natural.”
Ms. Dufault has over 20 years of experience working in the photography industry. She has a BFA degree in Fine Art Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has worked at some of the best photographic printing labs in the country and with some of the top art photographers in the world. This experience coupled with years of gallery experience, running art marketing groups, curating shows, and co-coordinating photo workshops has given her a unique perspective into the fine art photography world.
In addition to being fascinated by the tools of the chef, Ms. Dufault seeks out the food industry soldiers—tableware and vessels for storage. “I am drawn to photograph the glass versions I find in my travels. Stacked, arrayed, or layered, the line and repetition of glass creates playful patterns of light and color,” says Dufault. “Light, reflections and distortions revealed through the glass create beautiful, painterly abstractions. It’s a wonderful challenge to compose and capture an image before the light changes and the enchantment of color and luminosity is lost.”
Currently, Ms. Dufault collaborates with her husband, Scott Erb of Erb Photography, who has been a successful commercial photographer for over 17 years. Together they have been jet setting all over the U.S. taking photos for companies who use them on web sites, ads, brochures and in magazines. Their specialty is the hospitality industry working with restaurants, hotels, chefs, and others in the food art industry. Worcester Living Magazine voted their studio “The Best Photo Studio” several years in a row.
Together they also the founded the Worcester Alliance of Photographers, which has grown over the last 10 years into a wonderful care-free group of over 800 photographers. Both are founding partners in their latest endeavor, Foodies of New England Magazine, which was started in Oct 2012. The magazine is now in over 2200+ locations for sale all over New England.
About the Worcester Center for Crafts:
The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.
The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through
advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO Pass program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.