Jugs & Cans: A Food Art Exhibit

all photos by Stacey Newman


“10,000 restaurants in Canada have permanently closed since March 2020. Of the 48,000 workers in the retail, accommodations and food services industry who lost their jobs in fall of 2020, 80% were women. This increase in unpaid labour has already reduced women’s contribution to the economy. If this extra burden lasts, it will cause more women to leave the labour market permanently, reversing progress towards gender equality and reducing productivity in the economy.” *

The Art Gallery of Burlington has a new exhibit and it’s all about food. Featuring over 180 different vessels – bottles, boxes, jars and tins – all encased in crochet. The show is called Jugs & Cans: A Reaping.


“I was touring a speaker series across the United States when I began collecting jugs and cans from chefs I met on the road. It indulged my obsession with label art and the strange beauty in the everyday packaging of non-perishables. For the past 18 months, I’ve been crocheting around these cracker boxes, whisky bottles, and anchovy tins to amplify their ubiquitous forms—from the recycling bin to the gallery shelf,” says the artist.

Contributors to the more than 180 vessels that make up Jugs & Cans include, but are not limited to:

Jen Agg, Bar Vendetta + others
Alyssa Figueira, Matty’s Patty’s
Suzanne Barr, Wall of Chefs
Kate Chomyshyn, Birria Balam 
Lev Levine, Lox & Schmear
Kym Nguyen, Top Chef Canada
Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s + others
Emily Dinh, Momofuku Noodle Bar



Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, NYC
Laurie Woolever, author, Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography, NYC
Misti Norris, Petra & The Beast, Dallas
Jen Yee, Baker’s Bench, LA
Christina Tosi, Milk Bar, worldwide
Preeti Mistry, Spicewalla, Sonoma



“This collection of over 180 containers uncovers truths of the systems inherent in the restaurant scene and points to gendered inequities, uncovers sexual violence, and humanizes and normalizes recovery narratives,” says Suzanne Carte, AGB Senior Curator. It is both eye opening and eye candy.

Jugs & Cans: A Reaping is part of the larger group show, How To Read a Vessel, which features works from Ness Lee, Myung-Sun Kim, Shya Ishaq, Sameer Farooq and others, and it runs from September 20th to January 9th and is a free exhibit.  The gallery is open Tuesday to Fridays from 12-5PM and Saturdays from 10AM – 5PM.  The Jugs & Cans exhibit companion text can be purchased for $10 and includes photography by Stacey Newman and quotes from many of the contributors, including Laurie Woolever, Kym Nguyen, Jen Agg, Christina Tosi, Helen Rosner and others.

*Sources: Fortune, Forbes, CBC, CTV, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Toronto Star

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