Art, Food And The UMMA

Photo Courtesy of LSA

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA..."ooh-mah") is that beautiful, modern building on the corner of State and South University. Have you stopped in? Many of us walk by it every day and never step inside...and UMMA want's to change that.

In an effort to bring more students to the museum, the museum board started "Love Art More," a creative project to engage U of M students with the museum. According to UMMA's blog, "Love Art More" is an ongoing project "inviting UM students to explore, animate and broaden their relationship to art and to UMMA." Student board members were asked to come up with prompts for visiting students, and they produced over 50 ideas to encourage students to get involved. The site goes on to explain, "when an assignment is fulfilled, participants will submit their response in text, photograph, video or audio to be included in an ever-expanding online exhibition within UMMA's website." I'm in.

One idea that stood out to me (as my constant focus is, of course, on food), was a prompt from Junior Michigan student Savannah Freed: "Find a piece of art that makes you hungry, and concoct a recipe of the food that comes to mind."

Together with Freed, I chose to analyze an original piece painted by David Salle in the modern art section: a vast canvas painted in red acrylic, sketched over with graphite and charcoal and dusted with golden diamond dust situated directly in the center of the exhibit. The dramatic piece made us hungry (starving, actually) for red velvet cupcakes.

Photo by Alexandra Hayes

After the tour of the museum, we baked these moist red velvet cupcakes, topped with a tangy vanilla frosting. The "Love Art More" project definitely got my creative (and foodie) juices flowing, and I encourage all students to check out UMMA's blog and go to the museum in person at least once before graduation. And maybe try out the food prompt for yourself while you're there.

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