Food is known to dazzle the taste buds. But it is set to dazzle the eyes at Friday night's opening of "The Art of Eating" exhibition at Gallery North in Setauket.
The show -- on view through May 29 -- includes a variety of paintings, mixed-media works, photographs and drawings that highlight each artist's take on food and its role as a source of pleasure, sustenance and inspiration.
More than 20 local and regional artists and Stony Brook University students contributed to the exhibition, which also showcases archival photographs from the 1960s and 1970s by "Time Life Foods of the World" photographer Richard Meek.
"There's all this interest in food, preparation and presentation," gallery director Judith Levy says. "It's very sensual when you share a meal with someone. So what I was interested in doing was challenging the artists in a way. What take do they have?"
Those interpretations abounded, from two pears on a ledge in front of a moonlit landscape by Joan Branca, to a sculptural figure emerging from a Lavazza coffee can in front of a painted backdrop by Doug Reina, to drawings of patrons and the chef at Mirabelle Tavern at Three Village Inn by Nancy Bueti-Randall.
There are photos of an old pickle stand, a Manhattan pastry shop from 1948, as well as a painting of fishermen with baskets of calamari, and a still life of cucumbers, Levy says. In short, something for every palate.
So, why come?
"Because it's fun, and it's really interesting. It goes from serious to being very lighthearted," Levy says. "There's even a small painting that somebody made in Coney Island of an ice cream stand and someone eating an ice cream cone. Now, who can't relate to that?"
"The Art of Eating"
WHEN/WHERE 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 12 p.m. - 5 pm. Sunday (closed Mother's Day), at Gallery North, 90 North Country Rd., Setauket.
INFO 631-751-2676 or gallerynorth.org
Above, a detail of "Sclafani" by Doug Reina (Mixed media, 2011)