In BAKE/SALiEnt, Porter Lara transforms what we know as a bake sale into a vehicle for the multi-directional exchange of art. While many of us regard baking as an art form, the artist — who used to work as a pastry chef — bakes actual art into her cookies. Each delicious item on her bake sale table contains a tiny original drawing. But art isn’t just a secret ingredient. Art is the currency of BAKE/SALiEnt, where no cash is accepted. In the words of the artist: "Baked goods will be priced in Arts. Some items may cost more Arts than others. For example, a peanut butter cookie may cost 1 Art, while a chocolate chip cookie may cost 1.5 Arts. All transactions will be rounded up to the nearest Art."
Porter Lara invites hungry visitors to create their own small works of art with which to buy BAKE/SALiEnt items. Currency-sized paper and and a wide array of drawing materials are provided for “wealth creation”. She stipulates that "any image made on one slip of paper will be valued as one Art. Anything proffered as Art will be accepted as currency by BAKE/SALiEnt. No Art will be turned away. The valuation of one Art, regardless of who makes it, is always one." And how does the artist see all those drawings exchanged for scrumptious cookies? As “pure profit”. But rather than keeping it all for herself, Porter Lara will share the wealth, exhibiting all Arts tendered in the Axle Contemporary mobile gallery and posting them to the BAKE/SALiEnt Instagram account. BAKE/SALiEnt is a graceful blend of serious, silly, and delicious. Using the social convention of the bake sale, Jami Porter Lara creates a world where patrons are artists, artists are patrons, and art is the fundamental unit of exchange. Cookies contain art; cookies are art; currency is art; and profit is art. BAKE/SALiEnt, a free event open to people of all ages, will be presented in Santa Fe on the first two Saturdays in November. On both Saturday, November 7 and Saturday November 14 , BAKE/SALiEnt will be presented by Axle Contemporary between 10 am and 12 noon on Paseo de Peralta across from the Railyard Farmers Market, and between 1 pm and 4 pm at New Mexico Museum of Art on Palace Avenue just off the Santa Fe Plaza.
Jami Porter Lara is a contemporary artist whose interests range from drawing to sculpture to social sculpture. She is best known for her hand-built ceramic vessels that combine the ancient techniques of pueblo pottery with the contemporary iconography of the plastic bottle. Her work is widely collected and has been featured in the PBS arts series Colores! and in American Art Collector Magazine. She is represented by Central Features Contemporary Art in Albuquerque and by Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts in San Francisco.