SVA alumnus Alina Bliumis (BFA 1999 Computer Art) and her husband Jeff Bliumis are mixing art with dining to make new friends in the Bronx. For their project “Painting for a Family Dinner,” the couple meets with a family for dinner and creates a still life painting for them with the phrase “Thank You for Your Dinner!” in return. After the meetings, the families pose for a portrait, some of which are currently on display at the Bronx Museum of Art through June 4. “I think it’s a wonderful project and I love the focus on families,” Sergio Bessa, director of programs at the museum recently told the New York Daily News. “The Bronx has always been associated with blight and struggle but there is a huge mainstream community of working families here. And I think it’s wonderful to honor that.”
The Bliumis’s project is produced in collaboration with No Longer Empty, an arts organization that works to widen the audience for contemporary art by presenting high-caliber, site-specific public art exhibitions in the heart of communities. The project has allowed the Bliumises to visit families in the Riverdale, Castle Hill, Woodlawn, and City Island neighborhoods, among others, resulting in 13 family portraits. “You can see a lot, even in one photograph,” Alina Bliumis said in the article. “You can see the social and cultural differences. You can see the traditions. I think you can see everything about life in photographs.”
To learn more about “Painting for a Family Dinner” and the Bliumis’s other projects, visit their website.