Frozen TV dinners inspire a hilarious, ‘gross’ East Bay art show

Do you have fond memories of eating “Salisbury steak” from a “banquet” tray of microwavable food? Then you should head to the Two Cats Gallery in El Cerrito, which has completely redone its arts space into a celebration of frozen TV dinners and 1970s nostalgia.

“TV Dinner” is a show devoted to “gross ’70s food” but also so much more. Leading into the exhibit is a tunnel stuffed with vintage collages and “jellied-meatloaf smell-o-vision.” There’s a “Harold and Maude” viewing station playing the classic 1971 film and a Richard Nixon-defacing wall – right now it appears someone has drawn a booger falling out of his nose.

The 24 artists in the show were offered a blank canvas in the form of a wooden dinner tray. From there, they’ve really knocked it out of the park with various weird creations: ceramic meals that look so processed they could survive a nuclear apocalypse, say, or a laundry hamper-sized juice box of Hi-C. The co-creators of the DIY gallery put months of work into transforming the interior into a groovy wormhole. It really shows in details like vivid orange walls, furry rugs and a “boozy hangout” outdoors featuring couches and appalling lamps, where you can discuss how to grow more chest hair or the sad demise of platform shoes.

If you go: The show is open every Saturday in March from noon-3 p.m. at 1419 Scott St., El Cerrito. For updates check out Two Cats Gallery on Instagram.

A TV-dinner artwork by the Bay Area’s Barbara Pollak-Lewis. 
From left to right: “Loose Ends” by Edie Trautwein, “I Love You This Much” by Mel Northern, “Comfort Food” by Justine Le 
A view of the 1970s-themed setup of the art gallery. 
From left to right: “Juice Box” by Dean Levita, “Untitled” by Lorenzo Del Castillo 
The “Nixon defacing station.” 
A “Harold and Maude” viewing station playing the classic 1971 film. 

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