Fat In Public Art Show

Fat Girl Food Squad, a flourishing more-than-just-food blog run by a team of dynamic and passionate individuals, recently curated an art show called Fat In Public at 2186 Dundas, a cozy art gallery in the west end. Running from January 30th until February 5th (with the exception of Monday, February the 3rd), Fat in Public is home to a variety of art with the purpose of de-stigmatizing the (fat) body and celebrating everyone’s perfect imperfections. Featured artists include Megan Stulberg, Elana Delaney, Sam Abel, Sookie Bardwell, Ronald Caddigan, Derric Chow, Amanda Drodge, Kristina Groeger, Melody Krauze, Jessica Levy, Amarina Norris, and Yuli Scheidt, all of them contributing eclectic pieces with a sensational message.

Credit: http://goodkids.ca/

Credit: http://goodkids.ca/

I attended the gallery opening on January 30th and was ecstatic to see what a fabulous turnout the night had offered. By promoting the show via popular mediums like BlogTO and CBC Metro Morning, they achieved a constant flow of people in and out of the gallery doors. Gluten-free candy bags were also handed out to the first 70 people to arrive (I got two!)- literally the perfect thing to snack on while drinking wine and looking at food-related art.

I had a chance to interview Ama Scriver and Yuly Scheidt, the founders of Fat Girl Food Squad. The two of them are such inspirational individuals, definitely doing something important in the world of art, food, and body image. Read the interview below:

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Fresh Print: First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions! Could you tell me a bit more about what you do with Fat Girl Food Squad?

Yuli: I’m the Editor and lead Photographer, as well as Social Media Whip. Generally this means I spend my days hanging out with fat babes, talking to babes, laughing with babes, encouraging babes, and eating with babes.

Ama: I am the Head Bitch in Charge, which means I’m in charge of getting shit done.  I spend a lot of time kicking ass and taking names in the business world, getting to know our contributors on a deeper level so I can vet the right pitches to them and acting as a one-women hype machine for all things Fat Girl Food Squad out on the streets and via social media.

Fresh Print: Using art and creativity as a tool to convey a social message has proven to be a very effective method. What made you decide to host this event in the form of an art show?

Yuli: I’m a visual artist working here in Toronto. Like in most facets of daily life I wasn’t seeing myself represented when I went out to gallery shows. Plus, a lot of our contributors,  friends and readers are artists themselves so we wanted to give them a showcase.

Ama: For me, when Yuli and I sat down to discuss the concept for ‘Fat In Public’, it was so important to have others feel like that had a space to demonstrate that they were not alone.  This art show was for all to see and appreciate the beauty behind the human form in all sizes.  Let’s take away negative fat shaming and let’s shed some positivity on bodies of all sizes.

Fresh Print: What is the biggest thing you hope to gain from the show? From the blog in general?

Yuli: Just happiness. I love everything we do, I feel so fulfilled and like we’re doing good things.

Ama:  I’d love for people to leave the show having paused for thought and discussion on body shaming.  That would be the ultimate goal.  For the blog in general, I would love to just keep doing what we do.  Because each day is a different discovery and journey and it puts a smile on my face.

Fresh Print: The message you’re sending out with Fat In Public is increasingly important, especially in a society that attempts to place “being thin” at the top of a priority list. What do you think is the most important part about destigmatizing the body?

Yuli: A huge part of destigmatizing the body is for people to realize they can’t police other people’s bodies. I think once people stop those behaviours it will go a long way in breaking down stigma.

Ama: I would have 100% back up Yuli’s statement.  We have to stop policing all body types (underweight, overweight, etc.) and just begin to break down the stigmas we’ve learned and built inside ourselves.

Fresh Print: What’s next for Fat Girl Food Squad? How do you hope to keep expanding? Are there any other events in the works?

Yuli:  Always something on the go, behind the scenes. We hope to get out and do more workshops, keep doing the Blogger meetup.

Ama: World domination is what I always say!  But yes, we have more collaborations we’re working on with different magazines/zines and more events coming up in the near future (Bloggers Brunch).  Plus, we’ll be apply to different conferences and hopefully taking on more projects in the future.

Credit: Yuli Scheidt

Credit: Yuli Scheidt

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If you’d like to check out the show (as you certainly should!), gallery hours are listed below.

Thursday, January 30th: 7-11pm

Friday, January 31st: 1PM-6PM

Saturday, February 1st: 1PM-6PM

Sunday, February 2nd: 1PM-5PM

Monday, February 3rd: CLOSED

Tuesday, February 4th: 1PM-6PM

Wednesday, February 5th: 1PM-6PM

Laura Rojas is an Arts and Contemporary Studies student at Ryerson University. She's on the editing team for a student-run art collective and an avid writer. Read more about Laura on our Contributors page.