Art exhibit inside Morningside Heights church examines hunger

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Lauren Glassberg has the details

There's a unique art exhibit opening up focusing on food, hunger, and farming around the world.

The exhibition "The Value of Food" at St. John the Divine looks at how to sustain a green planet and feed the hungry.

Some come to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine to pray, others to tour, and now there's another reason: to learn about the value of food in a new exhibition.

"There are seven themes in the exhibition and we want you to walk through the cathedral in a progression that goes through the food cycle," said Kirby Gookin, a curator.

Gookin enticed more than 30 artists to participate.

There are works tucked into the bays and chapels, some immediately catch your eye, while others are not as obvious

There are sculptures by Tom Otterness, and you may recognize his work which appears throughout the subway system.

He hopes people sit down at his work called "The Tables" to discuss the iniquity of food.

"It's about running an inn, and the wealthy have food and the poor don't and that's the essential concern," Otterness said.

The artists selected tend to be activists as well who hope to provoke some change or reaction with their work.

A "Last Supper" in chocolate syrup or dinosaur skeletons made with chicken bones from fast food restaurants.

The creatures they represent are now extinct, sitting right up on the altar for a reason.

"The whole question about food, security, accessibility, why people don't have things that are basic to life, is a question, we think, of human dignity and justice and the cathedral cares a lot about that,"

The exhibition continues outside where apple trees have been planted that will one day bear fruit ripe for the picking.

"A million people come through here every year, and to be able to deal with food security, justice, and reach an audience that might not be able to pay a museum entry fee, it's free, open to the public, seven days a week," Gookin said.

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religionartmuseum exhibithungerMorningside HeightsNew York City
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