Art OMI: Architecture — Barbacoa: Sunset on the Solstice, June 23

Barbacoa: Sunset on the Solstice at Art Omi

Saturday, June 23

On Saturday, June 23 from 5 to 9 p.m., Barbacoa: Sunset on the Solstice commemorates the longest day of the year at Barbacoa, a two-year installation at Art Omi by Craig Shillitto. The event will feature locally sourced food, drink, and live music, as well as a performance.
Attendees will enjoy a menu with recipes drawn from the period adjacent to the initial contact point between European and Indigenous cultures that sparked the Columbian exchange. Highlights will include a pig roast from Lovers Leap Farm, and tap beer from Chatham Brewing. Food is available for $10 per person; food with unlimited beer is available for $20. From 5:30 until sunset, there will be live music by Will Play and Nina Mars. At the moment of sunset, the sun will illuminate Barbacoa’smirrored interior. Following this performative moment, marshmallows and small gifts will be made available to children for a family-friendly party.
The solstice-aligned installation Barbacoa sets a stage for people to interact with, and within, its environment in Architecture Field 02. Barbacoa is periodically activated with participatory events exploring the impact of the original culinary exchange between cultures, with an eye toward fostering a more ecologically sound food system. Barbacoa explores the potential of art and architecture to work in tandem to help communities envision an intercultural and sustainable future.


Barbacoa is a land art installation that evokes the moment of contact between Christopher Columbus’ expedition and the indigenous Taino people at Baracoa, Cuba. This encounter set off what is known as the Columbian Exchange, where the European and Mesoamerican food complexes began to interact, with the Europeans leaving behind pigs and bringing food crops, while introducing tomatoes, potatoes, corn, tobacco and other plants to Europe. The work’s title conflates the landing site and the indigenous “baracoa” a Taino word for “descended from the ocean” and a cooking technique, which involved cooking on a surface elevated on four posts above a fire. This style was exported across the Caribbean, and morphed into other types of open-fire cooking like Mexico’s “barbacoa” and the French / Cajun barbeque of the United States. The project features a fire pit, as a symbol of the transformation of methods and meaning that accompanied the moment of contact.

Craig Shillitto

Craig Shillitto specializes in socially engaged art installations, including Pambamesa (public project in Quito, Ecuador), This Ain’t Havana (Queens Museum), Proyecto Paladar (Havana Biennial). His work has been shown at the Moscow Biennial and the Canary Islands Biennial, and has received extensive press coverage. It is the subject of the book Ten Dinners in Havana, and of an article appearing in PUBLIC: The Journal for Imagining America (2017).

Art Omi: Architecture

The Art Omi: Architecture program is conceived to facilitate projects exploring the intersection of architecture, art and landscape by architects. Nestled within the campus of Art Omi, this program offers pristine, 60-acre fields designated to cultivate the production of physical structures such as pavilions, installations, landscape interventions, and constructed environments.

Art Omi is a not-for-profit arts organization with residency programs for international artists, writers, translators, musicians, architects and dancers. Art Omi believes that exposure to internationally diverse creative voices fosters tolerance and respect, raises awareness, inspires innovation, and ignites change. By forming community with creative expression as its common denominator, Omi creates a sanctuary for the artistic community and the public to affirm the transformative quality of art. More information at:
AAQ Resource: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects
Art Omi, 1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075

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