National Portrait Gallery to Install Portrait of Alice Waters

Alice Waters in Conversation with José Andrés Jan. 20
December 22, 2011
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recently unveiled a photographic portrait of food pioneer Alice Waters, founder of the Chez Panisse Restaurant and Cafe, the Edible Schoolyard and champion of the Slow Food movement. Now it will be installed at the Portrait Gallery Jan. 20 as part of a ticketed evening event.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a conversation between Waters and José Andrés, chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup. At 7 p.m. a reception will feature light fare from chefs of top Washington, D.C., area restaurants that serve locally grown organic food. Ticket prices start at $100 for the reception and $200 for the reception and conversation. Tickets can be purchased online at npg.si.edu. Contact npgevents@si.edu with questions.

The portrait, created by Dave Woody, pictures Waters standing beneath the branches of a mulberry tree in the Edible Schoolyard. Woody was commissioned to create the piece as a part of winning first prize in the 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

“I am delighted to install in our museum this portrait of Alice Waters created by Dave Woody,” said Martin E. Sullivan, director of the museum. “In this compelling photograph, Woody captures Alice Waters’ commitment to local, organic food. The Portrait Gallery recognizes Waters for changing the way the nation thinks about how people are connected to food and the environment. We expect the event to be a lively celebration of this relatively new conversation in American culture.”As part of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition the National Portrait Gallery commissions the winning artist to create a work that depicts a living subject for its collection. This competition is made possible by Virginia Outwin Boochever, whose gift fosters the acquisition of contemporary portraiture for the Portrait Gallery.

Alice Waters

Waters, chef, author and proprietor of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., is a pioneer of a culinary philosophy based on using only the freshest organic products, served only in season. Over the course of 40 years, Chez Panisse has developed a network of local suppliers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant a steady supply of pure, fresh ingredients.

Waters’ commitment to education led to the creation of The Edible Schoolyard, a one-acre garden and an adjacent kitchen classroom at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. The Edible Schoolyard, started in 1996, is a model public education program that gives the nearly 1,000 students the knowledge and values they need to build a humane and sustainable future by actively involving them in all aspects of the food cycle. The success of The Edible Schoolyard led to the School Lunch Initiative, which has as its national agenda the integration of a nutritious daily lunch and gardening experience into the academic curriculum of all the public schools in the United States.

Dave Woody

Born in Fort Collins, Colo., Woody received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Colorado State University in 1996. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. Woody received multiple awards and honors while studying at the University of Texas.

Woody has taught photography at Colorado State University and at Hampden-Sydney College. He has exhibited widely throughout the country and internationally. Woody is currently teaching photography at the University of Virginia.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: npg.si.edu.

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Note to editors: Images of the work and required caption and credit information are available at http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos/.

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Bethany Bentley

(202) 633-8293

bentleyb@si.edu