Lucy and Jorge Orta are a ridiculously cool artistic twosome who’ll be helping the Mural Arts Program usher in a big anniversary: It was this month 30 years ago that Mural Arts started weaving its way into our city’s essential fabric. To help celebrate it, they’re attempting something that, to lots of people, will just sound annoying and crazy: Shutting down Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets for five hours to hold one ginormous dinner for 900 invited guests on a two-block-long communal table. But the Ortas just want to engage the public in a discussion on food and consumption, and they’re doing it big with 70x7 The Meal, Act XXXIV, a work of public art staged as an early supper, curated by award-winning chef Marc Vetri.
A browse through the Orta portfolio, and it becomes pretty clear: These two are fascinated by the intersections of nature, economy, industry, consumerism and, well, awareness of the fact that we all hum along in a giant albeit delicate ecosystem. Seated along a massive dinner table nestled inside the Independence National Historic Park, the Paris-based artists hope to nurture conversations about creating a healthier food system, both for us and for the environment. Whatever the nature of this delicious collaboration, we’re happy to see MAP making friends, spreading their mission and beautifying our great city.
Sat., Oct. 5, 4:30pm. Independence National Historical Park, between Chestnut and Arch streets and Fifth and Sixth streets. 215.685.0750. muralarts.org
(UPDATE: Due to the government shutdown, 70x7 The Meal, Act XXXIV has been relocated to the courtyard outside the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.)
Dinner with Luke Palladino