Artist in residence Gallery Opening: Alice Gadzinski

Artist in residence Gallery Opening: Alice Gadzinski

Students participating in “The Supermarket” art exhibit, which will be launching its closing ceremony on Nov. 1 at 11:30 am, learn to accept imperfections and get to know and express themselves better through literal trash.

Artist Alice Gadzinski desires to exemplify the diverse culture of the area by asking them to bring their own experience into what they’re making for “The Supermarket” by creating grocery items out of typically discarded items such as cardboard, empty plastic bottles, newspaper or packing paper.

One student, Arielle, made a blueberry bagel because it’s her favorite, and her parents would always buy her one on her way to school.

“It’s something I have almost every day,” Arielle said.

On the other hand, some students decided to create something they are simply familiar with. One student named Gerald has created a cardboard box of lasagna pasta. “I eat pasta. It’s something I know,” he said. Another student, Eric, created a box of cigarettes because it “just came to mind.”

Students work on their grocery items. Eric’s cigarette box (left) and Gerald’s pasta box (right).

The exhibit is coordinated by Gadzinski, who is quite familiar with utilizing trash as a material to create art. Gadzinski used to work with trash during times when her studio had little to no funding, resorting her to look for a more accessible product. Working with trash has even taught her to appreciate the flaws in her own art pieces, a concept she’s teaching the students to embrace about their own art as well.

“Fruit tart” by Melissa, which was a favorite of hers when she worked at Whole Foods.

Whether the students make something meaningful to themselves or not, they still express another aspect Gadzinski is interested in, which is exhibiting how each food item shapes what we consume as a culture. There are intrinsic commonalities within the communal setting of a grocery store. Everyone is brought down to the same level. She points out that no matter what we eat, no matter how expensive or how cheap it is, “we all poop it out in the end….we all run out of toilet paper.”


Unfortunately, there have been cases of students finding anxiety over their creations’ imperfection as a demarcation rather than a feature as Gadzinski finds it. “It’s difficult to determine what is good art,” she said. “It’s hard to make things to scale, but it gives personality to the piece.”

When the exhibit launches in the Sarah Silberman Art Gallery, Gadzinski will be playing a 2-hour long playlist of Kmart music from 1973 to add to the “supermarket” ambiance.

Around 300 students from different classes around campus are working on this project according to Lucy Derickson, the art Professor for one of the classes working on the project.