Monday, November 3, 2008

October Marathon Surprise, Part 4

Who: VN Publisher/Editor in Chief Joseph Connelly + VN Distribution Manager Katie Paul
What: Veronica Ramos’ Masters Art Show, plus lunch at the Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center
Where: Boston and Cambridge, Mass.
When: October 31, 2008
Why: For some Halloween culture

The Scoop: Since last checking in, I left NYC, stole a hot ‘n’ stylin’ minivan, and drove to Boston, where Katie Paul flew in to join me for the 13th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, which you’ll hear all about tomorrow. Today, we were on assignment covering the opening of Masters in Science in Education candidate Veronica Ramos' exhibit of interpretive paintings featuring female animal activists. Veronica, a high-school art teacher and longtime social-justice crusader, was kind enough to give VegNews a sneak preview the day before the exhibit’s scheduled opening reception.

The walls at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design's Doran Gallery magnificently showcased Veronica’s unique talent, bringing to life images that juxtapose the passion of her activist subjects with each woman's particular brand of activism. “Thanksgiving in Paradise” presents Elana Kirshenbaum, founder of Rhode Island Vegan Awareness (RIVA), sitting at one end of a long table, a colorful plate of autumn vegetables before her, her right hand reaching out to a full-grown tom turkey sitting in a chair at the opposite end of the table, Elana’s pensive gaze matched by his regal posture. In “Sistah Vegan Begins Slaying a Few Dragons,” author Breeze Harper stands against a wall, almost as if in a police line-up, with what just might be a pregnant bare belly protruding between her powder blue blouse and white skirt. To Breeze’s right against the wall leans a sword with a lone red ruby encrusted in its handle; to her left, dangling from a thin, black string, hangs the at-once-recognizable, white-goateed-and-bow-tied head of fried-chicken magnate Colonel Harland Sanders, floating in space.

The largest painting on display is a self-portrait; “Take My Tusks If You Must, But Please Leave Me My Dignity and Spirit” could just have effectively been titled “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl at the Circus.” We see a preteen Veronica sitting in the bleachers behind a hunched over, tusk-less elephant, a sad eye staring intently at the viewer. Opposite the elephant is a smiling clown, oblivious to the pain and heartbreak of the innocent creature next to him. Veronica holds a single ivory balloon as if waving a white flag. Surrounding her in the audience are a half-dozen other circus-goers, laughing and smiling, blind to what the elephant and the sole person of conscience feel. The muted tones of the other humans in the painting expertly symbolize both the animal-rights and human-wrongs issues of keeping animals in captivity.

Artist Veronica Ramos poses with
“Take My Tusks If You Must, But Please Leave Me My Dignity and Spirit”

Those in the Boston area can catch the exhibit until November 18.

The second half of our day of culture found us at the Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center for a simple yet delicious meal. For just $6.95 each, we were served an appetizer bowl of soup, followed by a large plate that included four entrée selections surrounding an ample portion of perfect brown rice. The soup had a nice kick and a thin stock full of thick vegetables and warm spice. The macro-leaning main course included seasoned tofu, sautéed greens, a cucumber salad, and something with cabbage. Hey, give me a break, I’ve been on the road now for eight days and I’m eating so much it’s difficult to keep it all straight.

The $6.95 daily special at the Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center

After dinner, Katie ventured off to visit friends, temporarily lose her suitcase in a cab, and crash a Halloween party. I retired to my compound to prep for the next day's event, which you'll get to read all about tomorrow.

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