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Utica food shown through local artists eyes at 'Food for Thought' exhibit

By ALLISON NORLIAN

 UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local artists created a "Food for Thought" gallery on Thursday night at the Tramontane Cafe as part of Restaurant Week in Utica. 

The artists are part of Project U, an organization created from the Downtown Utica Development Association (DUDA) to spread art awareness throughout the community. The groups goal is to cultivate a strong and active art presence in the city, redefining Utica as the cultural corridor of the Mohawk Valley. They work in conjunction with DUDA. 
 
The "Food for Thought" gallery included works from more than 20 artists all incorporating the theme of food, for Restaurant Week. Locals could come out to view or purchase the works of art and enjoy complimentary refreshments. 
 
Dawn Farrar, the organizer of "Food for Thought" says she wants art to be important to the city.
 
"Utica is trying to revitalize," Farrar said. "And that is a lot of what we do at Project U, we are trying to do it through art." 
 
Farrar says art can revitalize anything, including the human spirit. 
 
Utica's Restaurant Week, sponsored by DUDA, will continue through Sunday, June 14. Participating restaurants have special three course dinners for just $18.32, celebrating the year Utica was incorporated as a city.  Dinners include an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
 
The participating restaurants include: Ambassador, Ancora, Aqua Vino, Tony's Audelicious Deli and Sports Bar, Babe's, Gerber's, Griffin's Pub & Grill, Hotel Utica, Lotus Garden, The Secret Garden Restaurant, Swifty's, The Dew, Tiny's Grill, Trackside Restaurant & Banquets, Daniele at Valley View and Zeina's Cafe and Catering. 
 
Art exhibits will be displayed throughout the community until Sunday.
 
Friday, June 13: Zeina's hosts paintings by Tim Rand.
Saturday, June 14: Gerber's hosts paintings by Fiona O'downey. 
Sunday, June 15: Swifty's hosts works by Dawn Farrar and Richelle Maki.
 
Artist receptions will be held at all three between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
 
DUDA and Project U hope to implement restaurant week and the art exhibitions bi-annually. 

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