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August 06, 2021

Aileen Bahmanipour’s Dinner Table Project


[Image Description: A headshot of Aileen Bahmanipour sits inside of a light blue circle. In the background, painted paper cut-outs of various food and kitchen items sit beside a handwritten recipe on a wooden table. The cut-out images along with the recipe, show the crafted care of a child’s artmaking process. “my famous chickin nugget, how to make it! One cup seasoning, two slices pork, flower, optional cheese sauce, done! Yummy and cheesie” is written in black crayon on white paper on the right. End Image Description.]

Artist Aileen Bahmanipour brought kids, storytelling, and food together through her Dinner Table Project. In order to follow COVID safety guidelines, Aileen worked virtually with twelve children from ages four to nine to provide interactive arts experiences to children in their homes.

Once a week for four weeks, Aileen told a story about food, culture, and how nature feeds us, and then worked with the children to create and share their own stories about food! Aileen encouraged them to try to understand food beyond something that people just eat, but food as something that gathers people together, and creates memories. The children had opportunities to tell their food-stories through painting, assemblage, cookbook designs, and much more! The kids also built up their own dinner table full of everything they created, from a variety of materials found at home, and shared their stories with each other. 

Throughout the project the participants had many opportunities for growth and development. They learned about gardens, soil, and how important it is to care for them, about respecting the land and all that grows and moves underneath it, as well as about food cultures from around the globe! The kids also explored how to paint, draw, mark-make, how to use images and text together, and how to create 2D and 3D forms with their artwork.    

Not only was this project fun for the children, the parents also enjoyed learning about food, making projects with their kids, and being able to access a bit of free-time too! Here are a few things they had to say:

“It has been SUCH a good class! [We] looked forward to it every week!” - Parent

“When he had glued all of it down on his board he said, “Wow, all my work from 4 weeks!” He felt it was quite an accomplishment.” - Parent

The Creative Spark Vancouver Grant is now open for Fall 2021 intake applications until September 14, 2021.

If you would like to learn more, check out
this page all about the grant, and register for the info session here which is on August 18, 2021.

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