The concept behind the table-setting exhibit at Quirk Gallery was simple. "We wanted to create the fun and loving community of dining with friends," exhibitions manager Maggie Smith says.
She invited five artists with ties to Richmond to be as conceptual or as literal as they wanted, as long as the heart of the piece was centered on the theme, "the perfect supper with friends."
Everyone brought something different to the table.
Oregon Hill-based artist Chris Milk Hulburt chose to focus on men drinking liquor with their cats. "I've been very introspective lately. So I decided, well, Sodapop will be my friend who will come to supper with me," Hulburt said, gesturing toward a 3-foot-high wooden sculpture of his cat, Sodapop.
Across the room, Christopher Jagmin's exhibit was more calculated.
The Phoenix-based dinnerware designer, who sells his work at Quirk, decorated his table with items one might find in an arithmetic classroom. Pink erasers, pencil shavings, crumpled graph paper and composition notebooks cluttered the table, which was set with his number-printed plates, cutting boards and pillows.
"I use all my slightly disfigured plates for myself," Jagmin says with a laugh. But fortunately for his guests, the artist usually doesn't serve pencil shavings.