American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen
Friday and Saturday August 23+24, 1996
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to
BREAD, ART, and MUSIC
Last weekend, at the big Phish concert in Plattsburgh, called the Clifford Ball, we collaborated with the artists of Wood and Wood in a presentation of bread and art.
It was wonderful. It was a lot of work, but it was truly wonderful. In our planning discussions to determine how much material to bring, we guess that maybe 50 or 100 pieces of art would come out over the two day concert. We wholly underestimated. Thousands of people participated. At certain times, they were making a hundred pieces an hour. When we ran out of cloth, they painted on rough sawn scraps of wood. They painted their clothes, their skin, and our buildings. They painted each others’ freshly shaved heads. By the end, we were awash in art: there was color and images everywhere. And a hundred times over, in writing and speech, they said thank you. They laughed and smiled and reveled in the art they had made.
For many, it was the first time they had had a chance to paint since elementary school. We are a culture that directs its youth to the sciences and practical disciplines: there is no time to “waste” in competitive capitalism.
Too bad. This past weekend was evidence of a widespread desire to make art. Art not for glory or promise, art purely for its own sake—for the sheer joy of its making; for the wonder and beauty it brings to the world.
This dedication is to thank Chris Crowell and everyone in the Phish organization who enthusiastically embraced our bread and art, and who were kind to us in every way: to Sparky and Peggy Potter and their band of Wood and Wood elves who did such a great job making the art project real; to the concert-goers who painted with their hands what they valued in their hearts; and to the Flatbread staff who laughed and smiled and baked their brains out helping feed 140,000 people. The fatigue I feel will pass, the memories I hold will last a lifetime.