“In today’s world, food has social economic and political implications,” reflects the San Jose Museum of Art , “from food trucks to molecular gastronomy, food helps define the Bay Area’s communities.” Beginning in early September, the museum will debut a three-part exhibit titled Around the Table, which expands on the historical, social and political notions of food.

The first stage (opened September 6th) features an installation by artist Jitish Kallat’s, titled Epilogue (2010-2011). Here he pays tribute to his father with thousands of photographs of roti (Indian flatbread), each of which represents one of the 22,000 moons that illuminated his father’s 62-year-old lifespan.

The second stage (November 9th) is based on three topics: healthful eating; food and community; and food issues. Seventeen artists have produced original pieces, ranging from the history of bread making to mutagenic mint. The museum itself will be adorned with topical interior decorations such as curry wallpaper and a living tree growing forty varieties of stone fruits. Several other artists will recall the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley.

Talk Around the Table is the theme of the third stage, which debuts on December 19th. The Davies Gallery will open as a social space to interact with food and the community. Visitors will get a chance to create, debate, share and explore how food connects with our everyday lives.

In conjunction with this, SJMA is piloting “Sowing Creativity”, an educational program that seeks to educate students about personal health and livable communities. SJMA educators and teaching artists will collaborate with public school teachers to create curriculum based on Around the Table, with field trips to Veggielution, an urban community farm.