By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Mural Arts program teamed up with a pair of Paris-based artists to create a visual and performance piece of art that included 900 guests eating together in downtown Center City.

The plaza of the Municipal Services Building was transformed into an outdoor dining area, with 113 communal tables, covered in runners and plates hand painted with pictures of heirloom vegetables and facts about bio diversity.

“We need an understanding of what it means to eat diverse produce and not mono culture,” said artist Lucy Orta.

She’s orchestrated 70×7 the Meal at various locations around the world.


Credit: Cherri Gregg

Credit: Cherri Gregg

The goal is to raise awareness about creating a healthier food system while creating a work of art.

Mural Arts executive director Jane Golden says this is the next phase of muralism: “The whole thing was a work of art– from the conversation to the discourse to the debate, to the plates to the runners to the setting,” she says, “To me, this is the next phase of muralism. To do work with great social purpose and great artistry. To merge those two things.”

The Meal was prepared by Chef Marc Vetri and included butternut squash, marble potatoes and other hard to find vegetables and the response was positive from those who participated.

“Chef Marc Vetri is good,” said one woman.

Another person says, “it was very fresh it was very tasty.”

The Meal is the largest and first of its kind in an urban setting.

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