“A” is for art … and polenta, apparently, when ‘Edible Typography’ is on the menu

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Blueberry-muffin batter, baked macaroni-and-cheese, a meatloaf, and brownies spell out ARTS at the Edible Typography exhibit. Photo/Rob Greene

MANCHESTER, NH — In spite of what is taught in kindergarten, at The Institute of Art and Design (the Institute) at New England College Thursday, “A” was for “polenta” and “blueberry muffin.” Meantime, the mighty letter “R” represented “puffed-rice treats” and “macaroni and cheese.” 


“T” was for “meatloaf,“ of course. “S” stood for “gold-leafed brownie.”

A fan of the letter T gets a slice.

Put the letters all together, and they spelled out an ARTS exhibit that showcased the work of students in the Institute’s graphic-design program and celebrated the recent merger between New England College and the former New Hampshire Institute of Art.

“I am so proud of them,” instructor Amber-Nicole Cannan said of her design students. “All semester they rose to the challenges I gave them, and I really threw one at them at the end.”

“A” is for polenta.

The challenge was manyfold. Using signage —  individual metal letters — removed from the Roger Williams Studio building on Amherst Street, the students made silicone molds. Then baking came into it. The students used the molds to make edible type in various sweet and savory flavors for the exhibit reception. Their only options were the letters in the words “Roger Williams Studio” and “New Hampshire Institute of Art.”

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Ward 2 Alderman Will Stewart attended the reception Thursday morning, as did Angie Lane, executive director of Red River Theaters in Concord. Each year, students at the Institute work with Red River on a design project, Lane said. Last year it was a T-shirt. 

From left, Alex Goodman, Codie, Holloway, and Dillon Clark dig into a vegan, gluten-free dessert T at the Edible Typography exhibit Thursday at Institute of Art and Design.

Xavier Maurice, a senior design student, smiled as he watched his work disappear into the bellies of local art lovers. He said it was a good lesson in the ephemeral nature of the creative process.

The edible parts of the exhibit have been consumed by now (or safely refrigerated), but photos, molds, and other pieces will remain on display until 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 at the Fuller Hall Vault Gallery, 156 Hanover St. To gain access to the building, enter through the door off the parking lot and ring the bell for admittance.

Classic mac-and-cheese in the shape of an R.

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