When we arrive, we jump right into the swim and head straight into the kitchen where Sabina has begun to prep some of the chopping. We soon discover that we’re going to make a giant pot of something involving tomatillos and okra. Like many of our artists, Sabina doesn’t measure. When I asked her about how much turmeric, she sprinkled in what looked like 2 tbsp and said, “This much. It looks like this.” We leave the ingredients to simmer. “This is something I might make for an opening,” she says.
As many of us know, welcoming people into her home is nothing new for Sabina. As founder and director of Terrain Exhibitions, she cooks up an incredible spread for each opening. If she can, she cooks on a theme, for instance, fried plantains for Puerto Rican artist Edra Soto’s opening. Those went over so well she decided to teach us how to prepare them as well.
First, it’s all about picking the right plantain. Do you want a savory or sweet taste? The more firm and green plantains will yield the savory. Slightly more ripened plantains will be sweeter. Preparing them is easy. You simply fry each side until browned in olive oil or whatever you have on hand.
Sabina’s space in Oak Park is lovely. We happen to be there on a sunny day. It’s so nice, we sit outdoors for our interview. We are surrounded by flowers, plants, and even a few vegetables. Just behind the house is Sabina’s studio.
Sabina’s studio is such a cave of wonders. Paint, spray foam and even glitter dot the interior landscape. Amidst the chaos, some curious feline friends are sniffing around. We get to see some works in progress, but no doubt the space is somewhat empty now. One of Sabina’s largest shows has recently opened at the Cultural Center. here and there pink melon joy features three rooms of site specific installations and is open until January 4, 2015.