Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brewing As Art Project

Back in April, Basic Brewing Radio interviewed Mark Zapazodi (not sure if I spelled that right, as he goes by Mark Zap online) about his Brewing As Art Project.  Mark is a homebrewer from Staten Island, who also enjoys art from local artists.  Mark thought that he could combine the two interests with a project entitled Brewing As Art.  He felt that brewing is one of the oldest art forms, but one that is not usually recognized as such.  The ability to create interesting and unique flavors in beer requires both an artistic touch and technical prowess, much like the art of cooking.

The basic premise of the project was to create a brewing stand that was a true sculpture, one that was a metal work of art that also functioned as a full homebrewery.  Mark paired with a local metal fabricator and artist, Scott Van Campen, to create a unique metal brewing structure.  Scott was inspired by the industrial nature of brewing, including an almost Steam Punk conceptualization of steel pots, valves, and burners, along with the challenge of making a functional gravity-fed brewing system. The structure was designed to be fully mobile and the could participate in art shows.  Mark could take the structure to the show's opening and brew a batch of beer with the audience being able to view parts of the process.  After that point, the brewing sculpture's artistic qualities would allow it to remain as a stand-alone piece in the show.

Mark pitched the idea to the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island and received a grant to move ahead with design and construction.  Mark acknowledged that funding for art projects is always sparse, but his decision to include homebrew samples in a wrought-iron six-pack holder, designed by Scott, as part of the presentation certainly helped.  The Council liked the idea that local artists, both brewer and metal sculptor, would be producing one of the most historically locally-important beverages - beer.

The result of the grant and almost a year's worth of work will be unveiled in an event at the Lighthouse Museum Space in St. George, Staten Island on Saturday October 30th.  If you are in the area, please check it out.



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