Posted: 3/14/02

Food's Role in Cultural Identity Explored at TAMIU March 19



Gourmet and art history will blend in a delicious presentation Tuesday, March 19 as a New York-based artist and chef visits Texas A&M International University to discuss the role food plays in providing cultural identity throughout the world.

Maité Gómez-Rejón, originally from Laredo, will give a slide show presentation titled, "A Taste of Art," as part of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts' Lecture Guest Series at 7 p.m. in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 111. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Gómez-Rejón, a museum educator for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will combine her culinary and artistic background to show historical images depicting food and drink ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to Pre-Columbian Mexico, South Asia and Renaissance Europe. The lecture will be followed by a brief demo where some foods native to the countries discussed will be prepared. Participants will have a chance to taste the hors d'oeuvres.

The presenter, who holds a Grand Diplome from The French Culinary Institute in New York and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, said she hopes the audience will be eager to participate and explore the slide images she will present.

"I am very interested in combining food and art as an accessible way of learning about the history of civilizations," Gómez-Rejón said, "I find it interesting how everyone has an opinion about food but can become intimidated by art. By looking at the slides and talking about food, it makes learning about art history, and therefore history, fun and accessible to everyone."

Gómez-Rejón said she became interested in her presentation topic during a recent visit to Mexico.

"This past year, I traveled in Oaxaca for a few months where I collected recipes and stories from people I met along the way. It was during these travels and conversations that I was struck at the importance that food plays in providing a culture's identity," she said.

For further information on the "A Taste of Art" Lecture, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. University offices will be closed March 15-17 for Spring Break. Offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, March 18.



Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu