[GIVEAWAY] Interview with Chef-Turned-Artist Kristina Groeger

I’m really drawn to people who hold many talents. It might be that I see myself in them, but I think it’s mostly because it excites me to think of all the collaborations and conversations we could have, and the things that we can put out into the world. Chef-Turned-Artist, Kristina Groeger, has been a FGFS Fan Club member since Day One and was the first submission to roll in when we announced our gallery show, Fat In Public. If you live in or around Roncesvalles, or are an adventurer, you can see Kristina’s design work in the logo for Extra Butter, a nifty addition to the bourgeoning strip. I recently roped Kristina into answering a few burning questions about her work and life. kristinaG FGFS: Who are you?

Kristina: Oh, hi hello. I’m Kristina Groeger.

FGFS: What do you do?

Kristina: I am a visual artist that lives in Toronto. I was a chef for a good number of years and decided to do a bit of a career change to focus more on making art and comics.

FGFS: What gets you excited about what you do?

Kristina: Half of my life ago (in high school), I can remember feeling really excited by creating a whole world with paint or pictures. I loved the idea of telling a story through something so simple. It’s exciting to watch a blob of paint or plate of food turn into a person with personality or a symphony of colour and taste.

FGFS: You’re like me in that your talents are varied. We do it all. Web, photography, art, cooking. I can’t imagine life being any other way. How about you? Is that just who you are, and how you function?

Kristina: I think this is definitely something I still explore and struggle with a bit. Without seeming like a “Jill of all trades, master of none” I like to think of myself more as an absent minded professor who is super close to a breakthrough. I’ve tried very hard to string together why I am such a “renaissance woman” (read: distracted aquarius). But, as far as web, photography, art, cooking? I see them all as forms of creation, story telling, or challenge and those are my favourite things to explore.

FGFS: What dish are you really, really good at making? Either you’re known for it, or just can just bang it out no problem and impress everyone.

Kristina: I would say that I am fairly known for my savoury or sweet pies. I really love working with pastry, also encompassing pasta and bread. I love kneading and sculpting the mixture of water, flour, and fat. It’s crazy how powder and liquid takes form into a delicious vehicle for flavour.

FGFS: Why is it that you create imagery and art that deals with food so prominently?

Kristina: Food for me has been an enormous part of my life for a really long time. I’ve been on a strict regime for the past six months to have more energy and start getting back into some sporty stuff I used to enjoy (skiing, swimming, baseball). When I was painting the donuts [paintings featured in Fat in Public], it was having an intense internal struggle about eating for pleasure vs. eating for body fuel. I also notice that everyone takes photos of their food the same way people would take photos of their family. The way we view food has shifted. When you see the way chefs like Michel Bras, Jason Bangerter, Daniel Humm, or Graham Elliott plate food you realize that this is art. They are using textures and viscosity to paint a beautiful landscape and story. I love exploring this in all types of mediums.

Ref: Chef Michel Bras Gargilou Source

FGFS: Anything else to add?

Kristine: This is one of my favourite videos of all time that shows the melding of food/art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ_zMnxR9z8

Kristina has generously given us some prints and stickers(!) of the donut paintings from her series, Round Food Makes You Round, that hung in out gallery show in February.

To be one of the lucky winners follow these steps: 1. Go follow Kristina on Twitter 2. Tweet using the hashtag #FGFSxRoundFood and let us know why you want to win!

For further exploration find Kristina at these hot online places:   Tumblrhttp://tumblr.kristinagroeger.com/ and Etsyhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/KristinaGroegerArt
Portfoliohttp://kristinagroeger.com/

Friday Foodie Five

Normally here on Friday Foodie Five I try to bring you some of the best stuff I’ve seen and heard online during the week. But I have to tell you, we here on the Toronto Squad have been working hard for a long time on something and we need to share.

For what feels like months, but has really only been a few weeks, Ama, Megan and I have been busy planning and co-curating an open call group art show called Fat In Public and the show’s opening was last night!

I would love nothing more than to share a few images with those of you who could not make it out to the opening and will not be in Toronto for the show’s week-long run at 2186 Dundas Gallery.

1.

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From Hamilton Squad Leader Carly’s Instagram, the hand-drawn window detail done by me.

2.

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Amarina Norris of Ursa Major+ made this one-of-a-kind piece that we featured in the front window, entitled ‘Sorry, Not Sorry.’ Look how PACKED 2186dundas was! Photo cred: Andrew Williamson.

3.

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Here’s me being forced to melt my robot heart by Ama. Photo cred: Andrew Williamson

4.

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This was the beautiful wooden chalkboard signage that Megan drew to drawn people in. Thanks to Food 416 for the rad photo that we found on Instagram!

5.

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Ren Bostelaar told me Drake was really into Melody Krauze’s Soft Core pillows featuring some ladies having a good time.

6.

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Set up was an absolute blast and all of us loved Sookie Bardwell’s plush piece, “Lady Bear”. Photo cred: Andrew Williamson

7.

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The crowd was bumping all night long with people showing up at 6:45PM! We couldn’t have done this without the love and support of all of YOU, our readers! So thank you for all your support. ❤

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For those wondering about our gallery hours (who live in Toronto), please refer to our Facebook event page! Come and visit Fat in Public while it is happening Thursday Jan 30 – Wednesday Feb 5, 2014.

[ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT] – Fat In Public an Art Show Presented by Fat Girl Food Squad

After spending the last several weeks accepting applications from artists (far and wide) for Fat Girl Food Squad’s first gallery show, Fat in Public, we are pleased to make the official announcement of the artists whom will be displaying art.

*Sam Abel
*Sookie Bardwell
*Ronald Caddigan
*Derrick Chow
*Elana Delaney
*Amanda Drodge
*Kristina Groeger
*Melody Krauze
*Jessica Levy
*Amarina Norris of Ursa Major +
*Megan Stulberg
*Yuli Scheidt

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With Fat Girl Food Squad‘s first gallery showing and through our artists selected pieces, we intend to de-stigmatize the (fat) body and give an outlet for art featuring imperfect and sybaritically characters in equal measure.

FAT IN PUBLIC’s opening reception will take place on January 30th at 2186 Dundas (located at, well, 2186 Dundas in Roncesvalles, Toronto) from 7-11pm. Please come celebrate with us and help celebrate our artists.

We have been beyond excited about this show for quite some time now. You can click on “attending” here on Facebook, should you feel obliged.

One final thing to note! All of our artists pieces will be for sale that evening with 100% of the sales going back to the artists. So please, support your fellow artists!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Fat In Public an Art Show Presented by Fat Girl Food Squad

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Fat Girl Food Squad is currently accepting submissions for our first gallery show, ‘FAT IN PUBLIC’.   Running from January 30, 2014 until February 5, 2014 at 2186 Dundas West Gallery.

Fat In Public is an art show that dares everyone to embrace just that: being fat in public.

Through this, Fat Girl Food Squad‘s first gallery showing, we intend to de-stigmatize the (fat) body and give an outlet for art featuring imperfect and sybaritical characters in equal measure. We want art and its creators to be seen and heard in all their ample glory.

All artwork must be completed, ready to hang (including professional backings and hanging equipment) and in good condition. It must have your name, title and medium printed clearly on the back and an arrow to indicate which direction is up (unless, of course, it is ridiculously obvious).  The artist must sign all artworks.  All artworks will have the option to be for sale with all sales going directly to the artist.

Submitting work for consideration to FAT IN PUBLIC is easy!
Email us at juicy@fatgirlfoodsquad.com with samples of your work (5 high res JPG files), along with a short bio and a description of the work you will be presenting, including the title and medium.  Please title all emails: FAT IN PUBLIC.

Please include the following with your submission:

    1. Your Name (and company name if you have one)
    2. Contact information (Phone, Cell, Email)
    3. Website (if you have one)

Submission Deadline:
Wednesday January 15, 2014

Artist Public Announcement:
Friday January 17, 2014

Submission Fee:
$50.00 (for first submission)
+ $5.00 (for each additional work)

Submission Fees are only paid if your work is selected to be part of the show. 100% of profits from sale of piece will be given to the artist.

We look forward to getting FAT IN PUBLIC with you!