The Kitchen Goddess exhibitThe Kitchen Goddess

an exhibit & performance by

Suchil Coffman-Guerra

Opening Reception: Friday, April 15, 5:30-8:30 pm


Fiberartist SUCHIL COFFMAN-GUERRA will introduce the culmination of several years’ work with her evolving The Kitchen Goddess textile series, which opens with a reception at Bihl Haus Arts on April 15, 2010, 5:30-8:30pm, at 2803 Fredericksburg Road.

adelas-pimento-loaf1For the April 15th reception “The Magic Chef,” ERIC CHIAPETTA of Denver, will prepare an edible installation featuring a Glazed Ham with Pineapple Rings & Maraschino Cherries centerpiece surrounded by 1950s-inspired appetizers and entrees, each with a modern twist, such as Meatloaf Sliders with Grilled Onions & Chipotle Ketchup, de rigueur Pigs in a Blanket, Jello & Marshmallow Salad, and for dessert Angel Food Mini Cupcakes w/ Peppermint Candy Frosting.  The reception includes continuous performances by Suchil and REBECCA COFFEY, who will embody the kitchen goddess with her musings, and a reading by San Antonio poet JOYOUS WINDRIDER from her new poem “Kitchen Fixture.”  On exhibit, too, will be exquisite handcrafted fiber foodworks by the GOLDENS, senior residents of Primrose Apartments (where Bihl Haus Arts is located) who are enrolled in the Bihl Haus GO! Arts Program, created under the Suchil’s direction.

Suchil will transform Bihl Haus Arts into a retro 1950s kitchen in which everything has been painstakingly re-created in fabric to match the mood of both the time period and the secretly frustrated housewife who presides there.  An ongoing and constantly changing series, The Kitchen Goddess began as a national project that Suchil organized in Colorado in 2005–2007 for the Women’s Caucus for Art, the largest women’s art organization in the U.S.  It has since expanded to a full-sized textile sculptural kitchen inhabited by ‘real’ kitchen goddesses who interact with visitors to the exhibit.  Suchil engages the audience with both art and performance to provide them with an intimate view into the state of mind of the 50s housewife surrounded by the trappings of her ‘happy’ home.  Viewers will walk away with the understanding that happiness was, even in the 1950s nuclear home, much more than the acquisition and possession of the latest ‘time-saving’ appliances and perfect décor, which will lead them to ponder how this might apply to women of today.

Suchil chose textiles as a medium to create these retro kitchen environments because textiles have long been associated with ‘women’s work’ and the domestic sphere.  By their very nature, machine-made textiles also offer infinite variety.  They allow the artist an opportunity to explore the nuances of texture, pattern, and tedium.  Suchil uses them to create a three-dimensional environment saturated in color and visual detail that requires the viewer to step into the artwork (rather than passively looking at it from a distance) and to interact with the exhibit.

A San Antonio native, Suchil received her fine arts degree in Colorado, where she worked initially in photography and ceramics before moving into textiles.  She has curated exhibitions in both Colorado and Texas and exhibited her work in the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art and the Fort Collins Contemporary Art Museum.  She recently moved back to San Antonio.  For more on Suchil Coffman-Guerra and “The Kitchen Goddess,” please click here.

Magic Chef Eric Chiapetta, visiting from Denver, brings 20 years of experience in the food and wine industry to San Antonio.  Eric holds a Degree in Culinary Arts from the Colorado Institute of Art and is a certified wine specialist.  He has owned several restaurants in the Greater Denver area and is the creator of Bombshell BBQ, a Colorado-style barbecue sauce. Eric will be assisted at Bihl Haus Arts by business partner and Sous Chef JAMIE GULICK (their latest culinary venture opens this summer).  Jamie, who grew up surrounded by great cooks, knew she wanted to be a chef by age fourteen.  Her culinary skills are informed by extensive travels in Europe, Latin America, and Mexico and by a two-year culinary internship in St. Thomas, US.

Joyous Windrider is currently a member of Writers Block, the Jazz Poet Society, and the musical poetry group Cosmicollective, and is an artist at Gevers Street Studio. She is also the new co-host of  “Words,” a monthly poetry event at G.I.G.  Recently released from her own gilded cage, she relocated back to San Antonio in 2009 after living and working on the island of Cyprus for almost a decade. She’s had experience both in front of and behind the camera. Her new domestic adventure is parenting one beautiful son, Joshua Windrider.

See video performances here.

This project is supported in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts through the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. The GO! Arts program is supported by funds from the Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Mayer Foundation, and the Shield Ayres Foundation.  Bihl Haus Arts is made possible with the generous support of The Potashnik Family Foundation and Primrose.