The Field & Screen Series: A Q&A with Dave Filipi, Director of Film/Video at the Wexner Center for the ArtsWritten by Claire Hoppens
Dave Filipi is Director of Film & Video at the Wexner Center for the Arts, where the fourth annual Field & Screen series will commence this February. The series takes a closer look at topics surrounding our food and environment, screening a number of films throughout the month, entirely open to the public. This year's films include the journeys of foragers, the radioactive repercussions of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, a popular safari park in Quebec and a look into our global sushi obsession, among others.
Along with regular film screenings, a panel discussion organized by Ohio State's Department of Art's Living Culture will follow the February 7 showing of "Covenant", which peers into raising livestock and the complexities of human-to-animal bonds. Before the Valentine's Day showing of "Step Up to the Plate", Heirloom Cafe, located inside the Wexner Center, will offer a special menu.
We are looking forward to this year's intriguing lineup, and we're pleased to learn more from curator Dave Filipi about the process of film selection, the origins of Field & Screen and which films are on his radar this year.
Winter in Ohio is always a surprise. Last year no snow and warm temperatures had us thinking we lived much further south. The snow this year has been a welcome sight for us gardeners and photographers to get out and take snow pictures, finally.
The herbs left in the garden have been peaking their heads through the snow. Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, hydrangeas and ornamental grasses showing off their structures, allowing for great photos of the winter garden. I see signs of spring all over the garden with daffodils popping up, hellebores are budded out and tulips have started coming up. My cold frames are loaded with parsley, beets and lettuce to enjoy the remains of fall and the hopefulness of spring.
As long as she's been crafting gourmet chocolates, Stacey Peters has incorporated the flavors of local purveyors into her truffles and bars.
Featured in an article from our winter issue, Stacy describes how intrinsic Ohio-sourced ingredients are to her products and home-based company, O'Chocolate. “Chocolate is the perfect medium for exhibiting local vendors’ products. I find a unique local product and design a bar or truffle to showcase it.”
Last fall, Stacy collaborated with a handful of local producers to create the 614 Bar, celebrating our capital city from the packaging to the ingredients. An organic, fair trade dark chocolate provides the base for the bar. Peanuts from Krema Nut Company are roasted and candied with Sticky Pete's maple syrup. Then, subtle heat is added with Scotty McHotty's hot pepper blend, grown in Plain City by Scott Wheeler, husband of our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Tricia! The sweet and spicy nuts are folded into the dark chocolate and finished with a smattering of currants and sea salt for balance. The result is a snappy bar nicknamed the "Surly Buckeye with Currants."
Attorney, rancher and author Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the featured keynote speaker at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's (OEFFA) 34th annual conference, "Growing Opportunities, Cultivating Change". She is the author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, which chronicles the problems with the concentration of livestock and poultry and her work to reform animal agriculture as the senior attorney at Waterkeeper Alliance. Today, she lives in Bolinas California, with her husband Bill Niman, the founder of Niman Ranch, a natural meat cooperative supplied by 700 farmers and ranchers. Her keynote address is titled, "Eating as We Farm (And Farming as We Eat)" and takes place Sunday, February 17 at 2:45pm.
Hahn Niman will speak as part of the state's largest sustainable food and farm conference, an event that draws more than 1,100 attendees from across Ohio and the Midwest. In addition to Hahn Niman, this year's conference will feature keynote speaker George Siemon on Saturday, February 16; more than 90 educational workshops; two featured pre-conference events on Friday, February 15; a trade show; a fun and educational kids' conference and child care area; locally-sourced and organic homemade meals; and Saturday evening entertainment. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/2013.
Describe your transition from living in New York City and working as an environmental lawyer reforming the concentrated livestock industry to ranching in rural California.
I absolutely loved working in New York as an environmental lawyer to reform the industrial livestock sector. So when I married Bill Niman and moved to California, I expected to continue it. To my surprise, however, the longer I lived here, the more I felt drawn to the ranch. I didn't want to be on the ranch and not fully understand how it functioned. I began by assisting our ranch manager on a daily basis. I found deep satisfaction in taking care of the animals, learning how to steward land as a working landscape, and being outdoors, doing physical labor. Often, I am working side-by-side with my husband, which sometimes can be stressful, but is usually a lot of fun.