The first Foodscape gang

The first Foodscape gang (Liz Ankewitz / July 11, 2014)

30 years since its founding as an alternative to Artscape, Foodscape munches on

Foodscape, since 1984, is an art show, with 51 participants to date, always opening the week before Artscape, originally conceived as a contrarian reaction to the banality of Artscape, the dearth of art in Artscape, and the abundance of funnel cakes for the delectation of the booboisie at Artscape. Some things have changed, and we discussed this on a recent infernally sweaty July morning over cool, hydrating beverages at the Mount Royal Tavern, with original Foodscape shot-callers Jim Burger (who is also a CP contributor and pal of the paper), J. Kelly Lane, and Ronald Russell. You probably missed the opening, but Foodscape is up now at the Tavern and will run through the end of Artscape, not that you need another reason besides cheap drinks and air conditioning to stop into the Tavern during Artscape. (Joe MacScape)

CP: How many Artscapes was it before people started to make fun of Artscape?

Jim Burger: It was one. How that happened, they decided they were gonna have this Artscape thing—

J. Kelly Lane: Jody Albright was the queen.

JB: It was a “festival of the arts.” Baltimore had festivals and stuff all the time.

CP: Right, they had the City Fair—

JB: Yeah, it looked exactly like any other thing. They called it Artscape, but it was really fried dough and stuff like that, and the art was all stuck over in one corner.

JKL: And none of it was from here.

CP: Was it art vendors?

JKL: No, it was in the Fox Building gallery and the Station building gallery, [artists from] Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia.

CP: Nobody from Baltimore was invited.

Ron Russell: Very few. It wasn’t about Baltimore artists at all.

JB: It was barely about art, it was certainly not about Baltimore.

JKL: Not even Baltimore. Maryland—there were very few plain old Maryland artists.

RR: All the lines were at the food concessions. There were no lines to get in to see the art.

JB: So we—

RR: So we made fun of it.

JB: Just made fun of it immediately, yeah.

CP: Do you remember the first Foodscape, do you remember the stuff that got hung?