Mia Miller’s food pyramid of America

“Our Lives” By Mia Miller

Drawing 3 student, Mia Miller, is in the process of creating a 3D model of her take on the food pyramid of America. Miller is a junior at Darby High School and has been interested in art since it was offered as a class in school, back in sixth grade. Miller has created several other projects throughout her art career at Darby, such as her pencil drawing titled “Our Lives”, which features six portraits of people, each representing different cultures around the world. Her newest project, expected to be titled, “American Food Pyramid”, highlights Miller’s sewing skills as she aims to create a piece that will illustrate the increasingly unhealthy eating habits of Americans in today’s society. 

   Miller came up with the idea for her newest project when her Drawing 3 class was given the opportunity to choose whatever they wanted to make for their projects. Miller, being extremely interested in sewing, originally had the idea to sew giant sushi out of fabric. However, after showing her Drawing 3 teacher, Valerie Kulick-Brown, a cupcake pin cushion that she had created in the sixth grade, Kulick Brown suggested that she make something different. Kulick-Brown gave Miller the idea to make a cloud-like model of the miniature food.    Kulick-Brown also allowed Miller to use a large glass jewelry case in the shape of a pyramid for her project. This gave Miller the idea to make a food pyramid of sorts.

  “It’s kind of evolved into this big pyramid showing how we eat a lot of junk food in America, and we kind of place healthy food right on the bottom,” stated Miller.
    Miller’s project will consist of sewn models of different junk food, all clumped together inside of the glass pyramid. Miller has used fabric and styrofoam to create the different food items. She first carves the styrofoam into the desired shape for the base of her food and then covers it in fabric. This is much faster then sewing the exterior and then stuffing it, Miller said. The project is, however, still very tedious and time consuming. Miller is still in the process of constructing the project, and expects to be finished in about a month.
     “There are different sections in the pyramid and one of them I’m going to have completely empty expect for an apple, to represent that [eating healthy] is so empty and so small in America,” Miller explained. 
    Miller hopes to show how little healthy eating is valued in some parts of America by leaving this section void except for a single apple. The apple may also be covered in sequins to represent wealth and the small percentage of people who have access to these healthy, fresh food choices. The piece can also be interpreted in a religious view, where the apple represents the forbidden fruit from the story of Adam and Eve, and the section represents the lessening focus of religion in America. Miller believes that even though there can be many different meanings behind the piece, its meaning is ultimately up to the interpretation of those who view it.
    In the future, Miller hopes to continue the concept of sewing and food. She hopes to possibly pursue her sushi idea by creating a project where she will sew different foods from different Asian cultures and place them inside Chinese food carry-out boxes. Miller wants to help show how we tend to clump Asian cultures all together as one, even though they are all different. Miller also hopes to continue her art career at Darby through her junior and senior year and hopes to continue creating art as a hobby in the future as well.  

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