Maybe the neighbor coming to your door for that proverbial "cup of sugar" is an artist, like Amy Hauft.
On the Anderson Gallery's second floor, Hauft, the chair of Virginia Commonwealth University's acclaimed sculpture department, will be re-creating in scale and form an 18th-century Louis XIV banquet table that sat 100 — its adornments making it more akin to a landscape than a piece of furniture — and she's done this using sugar. Prior to the perfection of porcelain, European makers of the Baroque period used the condiment to create not edible confections, but figurines and novelty items. These sweet sculptures adorned royal dessert tables, writes curator Ashley Kistler, "as demonstrations of conspicuous consumption: The sugar was imported from the distant East Indies, while the talents of the finest sculptors were expended on creating elaborate, but ephemeral, objects."
An enormous tailored tablecloth covers the surface. But don't set down your coffee.
"Amy Hauft: Counter Re-Formation" is the artist's first exhibition since arriving here five years ago. It goes up Nov. 20 and runs through Feb. 21, with a gallery talk by the artist on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. 828-1522 or vcu.edu/arts/gallery.