A recent art project entitled Comeback Kitchen Table consists of a series of public artworks that explores the changing role of the kitchen table. Once it was the center of family gatherings; however, in many homes today it's rarely used for dining because of increasing demands on family life (work, school). In some homes it's simply a depository for items of daily life: books, magazines, keys, phones.
The project was spearheaded by artist Jerry Beck, founder of the defunct Revolving Museum which was based in Lowell, MA. Beck worked with a diverse Nashua community of artists, educators and others to produce 10 unique and diverse kitchen table artworks. The completed projects were placed in under-used public spaces in downtown Nashua.
Research has shown that society is moving away from family-gathered table meals and eating in front of electronic devices with no connection to others, conversation or even an appreciation of taste, smells, and rituals associated with eating. Studies have shown that children who did not regularly eat with their parents were significantly more likely to be truant, also those who did not eat dinner with their parents at least twice weekly were more likely to be overweight.
The focus of this project was to create an understanding that sharing meals together is important and to support communication between family and neighbors.
Instead, our "dining table for two" is positioned in front of the living room window and our view overlooks the Nashua River and downtown Nashua.
How about you and your family members — Do you share meals at a table together?