October 2015 – April 2016

The exhibition is on view during the Cathedral's regular hours, 7:30 am to 6 pm, seven days a week.

(Please note that there is limited access to parts of the Cathedral on Sundays—full access on Sundays is typically between 1 and 3 pm.)

The Value of Food

The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet is an art exhibition hosted by the Cathedral, in keeping with its long history of engagement with issues of social justice, the environment, support for the arts, and community involvement. Guest curated by Kirby Gookin and Robin Kahn, the exhibition focuses on food security, accessibility, and sustainability by bringing together artists who not only grapple with these issues, but also actively engage the audience. Installed in the bays and chapels inside the Cathedral, as well as throughout the gardens, the exhibition is divided into seven thematic sections: Water, Soil, Seed, Farm, Market, Meal, and Waste—a reflection of the cycle of food production.

Additionally, the Cathedral will host a number of presentations and workshops by speakers who make community outreach and participation a central part of their practice. These programs will include—but are not limited to—panels on urban farming, labor rights, the history of the dishes that many of us know and love, and the relationships between food and faith.

This exhibition is made possible through generous funding from Jack and Susan Rudin on behalf of the Rudin Family, Panta Rhea Foundation, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, GRACE Communications Foundation, Munex Fund at The San Diego Foundation, and the Episcopal Diocese of New York. BeeSpace is a part of ProfileUS: Invasive Species and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as additional support from Puffin Foundation West. Hunger Through My Lens is presented in collaboration with Hunger Free Colorado.

The Curators

Kirby Gookin is a writer, curator, public artist, and professor of critical studies in the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU, and the Department of Art History at The School of Visual Arts, where he teaches, among other courses, Avant-Gardening: Art, Food and Agriculture. He has contributed to Artforum (as staff critic), Artscribe, Arts Magazine, Interview, and Parkett; and has written essays for several gallery and museum publications including Creative Time: 33 Years.

Robin Kahn is an artist, curator, author of self-published books, and a founding member of several public art collectives. In 2012, she created an interactive installation, The Art of Sahrawi Cooking, at dOCUMENTA (13) inspired by her cookbook, Dining in Refugee Camps. Kahn’s work has been collected and exhibited internationally. She is the recipient of several awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

As curators, Gookin and Kahn create projects which empower artists and communities.

Exhibition Map



Suzanne Anker

Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. As the Fine Arts Department Chair at NYC’s School of Visual Arts, Anker interweaves traditional and experimental media with her department’s new digital initiative and in its BioArt Lab.

Stefani Bardin

Bardin’s work explores the influence of corporate culture and industrial food production on our food system and the environment. She collaborates with biologists, engineers and gastroenterologists to ground her research in the scientific world. She teaches at NYU, Parsons, and The New School.

Anna-Sophie Berger

Berger lives in Vienna. She is represented in New York by JTT.

Pascal Bernier

Bernier lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.

Mike Bildo

Bidlo is a conceptual artist of appropriation art, creating faithful copies of masterpieces. He has had solo museum exhibitions at PS1/MoMA, Queens, New York; Sezon Museum, Tokyo; and the Saatchi Gallery, London. His work has been exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh and the New Museum, New York.

Matt Black

Black is a photographer from California’s Central Valley, an agricultural region in the heart of the state. For the past two decades, he has made work that explores the connections between migration, poverty, farming, and the environment.

Mel Chin

Chin is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. His work investigates how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility.

Indes Doujak

Doujak is a feminist artist who lives and works in Austria whose work explores culture, class, and gender. She exhibits her work internationally and had projects featured in The Bienal de São Paulo and Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany.

Eating in Public

Eating in Public’s Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma follow the path of pirates and nomads, hunters and gathers, diggers and levelers. They gather at people’s homes, plant free food gardens on private and public land, and set up free stores and other autonomous systems of exchange.

Coleen Fitzgibbon

Fitzgibbon is an experimental film artist based in NYC. She has screened her work at international film festivals, museums and galleries including the New Museum, Salon 94, Louis B. James Gallery, MOCA/Los Angeles Filmforum, the Austrian Viennale, and Toronto International Film Festival.

Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit, a collective comprised of Los Angeles artists David Burns and Austin Young, uses fruit as an instrument to invite people to experience the city as a generous place where they can explore the meaning of community and collaboration.

Frederika Foster

Foster was guest curator of the exhibition The Value of Water at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 2011. She is a painter who lives and works in New York City.

Hunger Through My Lens

Hunger Through My Lens, a photovoice advocacy project initially presented by Hunger Free Colorado in 2014, brings the reality of hunger in the Denver Metro area to the forefront by experts on the subject—the individuals that experience it firsthand.

Nancy Hwang

Hwang is a New York-based artist who believes that cooking and sharing recipes with others can be a good way of fostering closeness. She specializes in projects involving audience and community participation.

Christian Jankowski

Jankowski lives and works in Berlin. He exhibits internationally and has participated in Taipei and Sydney Biennials (2010), the Whitney Biennial (2002) and the Venice Biennale (1999 and 2013).

Robin Kahn

Kahn's work examines the collective languages and roles that women create to sustain and support their communities. Since 1990, Kahn has been making installations that employ collage, painting, and sculpture. She has had several international exhibitions of her art.

Alison Knowles

A founding member of the avant-garde group Fluxus, Knowles creates work using a variety of media including papermaking, printmaking, performance, and sound. Unlike her Fluxus contemporaries, Knowles began using beans in 1962 to create artist books, sound producing sculptures and handmade paper.

Larry Miller

Closely associated with Fluxus, Miller was a key figure in the emergent installation and performance movements in New York in the 1970s, presenting work in spaces such as 112 Greene Street Gallery, Franklin Furnace, PS 1, and the Kitchen.

Vik Muniz

Muniz works in Rio de Janeiro and New York City. His retrospective at the MUNTREF opened in May 2015 after touring North and South America. In 2016, he will have a solo exhibition at Mauritshuis and a body of work commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Jan Mun

Mun is a media artist who creates sculptures using a combination of the artistic and scientific, manifesting in the form of social practice, interactive installations, and bio-art. She is also an amateur mycologist, microbiologist, and beekeeper.

Peter Nadin

At his Old Field Farm in upstate New York, Peter Nadin transforms the materials of his life into art.

Naoto Nakagawa

Nakagawa was born on Earth, Latitude 34.6900°N, Longitude135.1956°E, and grew up blessed by the beauty and magic of nature.

Tom Otterness

Otterness has made more than three dozen public commissions in the United States including Life Underground (2004), his celebrated multi-figural bronze sculpture installation for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency at the 14th Street station on the Eighth Avenue subway lines.

Claire Pentecost

Pentecost is an artist, a writer, a professor, and the Art Department Chair at The Art Institute of Chicago. Her current projects focus on industrial and bioengineered agriculture, and the hidden costs of the global corporate food system.

Alexis Rockman

Rockman’s extensive career includes exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. He is currently working on a series of monumental paintings exploring the Great Lakes.

Christy Rupp

Christie Rupp is an American eco-artist, born in Rochester NY, too young for Elvis, and too old for Barbie. Currently living & working in NYC, she has received awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, NY State Council on the Arts, Art Matters and Anonymous Was a Woman.

Laura Stein

Stein is a visual artist who examines how the acculturation of nature, through such processes as genetic engineering, shapes our relationship to plants and food.

Tattfoo Fan

Tan’s art practice responds to issues of ecology, climate change and nutrition. Inspiring the public to take action, Tan provides manuals and instructions for many of his projects on his website.He resides in Staten Island with his hens SOS and 5pm.

Nigel Van Wieck

Van Wieck has been exhibiting his work internationally since 1971. His most recent solo exhibition was at the Didier Aaron Gallery in New York City in Spring 2015.

Kara Walker

Walker, best known for her works that investigate the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity in America, also explores how food and its marketing reflect the socio-economic dimensions of oppression.

Linda Weintraub

Weintraub is an artist, curator, educator, and author of several popular books about contemporary art. She lives in upstate New York.

Peter Lamborn Wilson

Wilson is an American artist and author. In addition to his writings on ontological anarchy and Temporary Autonomous Zones, he has written essays on subjects such as Tong traditions, Charles Fourier, ancient Celtic culture, technology, and Luddism.

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