Art Installation Debuts at Norton Center

Aug 4, 2016

The Norton Center for the Arts debuted this week EAT: a literature and photography installation. The food-driven exhibit at Centre College gives an up-close and personal look at the things we eat every day.


At the beginning of the year, the Norton Center on campus put out a call all over Kentucky for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction alike. The written works would then be paired with photography from Sarah Jane Sanders.

After reading the selected writing, Sanders sought to photograph subjects that would be juxtaposed with the writer's work. The central theme being food, the "baker's dozen" of writing spanned from satirical to dark and brooding.

Sanders says food has always been a favorite subject of hers, and it is something when photographed, can rekindle memories. Speaking of fond memories of her grandmother, Sanders says she uses these recollections to stage her photographs.

“A lot of my projects tend to stem from food and culture and how we all share that common language of food. The big goal was to create a body of work that is based on collaboration and community. Working on a team like that really pushed my level and my desire to really produce something special with the other writers”

When asked about the seemingly growing phenomenon of both amateurs and professionals alike taking pictures of their everyday meals for social media, Sanders agreed that it seems to be very popular now. 

“I think there’s become definitely a culture based on Instagram and those kinds for food photography, and on social media in general.”

Although she always used food as a subject for her stills, Sanders says now more than ever she gets questioned for tips on how to make food translate in photographs. She laughs, and says lighting is everything.

Norton Center Director Steve Hoffman says they are proud to feature the work of the sought-after Sanders and writers alike, adding the vibrant project has some mouth-watering images. Sanders was approached by Centre College's Art Center to create a piece, and EAT was an idea she was ready with to pitch to Hoffman.

The collaborative installation will be on display at the Norton Center through the rest of the year, and the complete set will be added to the gallery’s permanent collection.

Sanders adds that written works and stills will also be accepted by the public who take an interest in all things food, and will be added to a temporary collection at the center.