Mixed Use’s first hybrid event, entitled paired, took place on July 11, 2015 at a private loft studio space in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Twenty select individuals were invited including an established curator from a major cultural institution, a local gallerist, a top engineer at a well-known tech firm, and an executive at a Fortune 500 company, among others. Mixed Use provided a unique dining and viewing experience that not only highlighted the artwork but also the communal experience of the evening, creating an environment wherein those less familiar with contemporary art were encouraged to ask questions and explore ideas with the artists and cultural producers present.

paired showcased work by Oakland-based artists Miguel Arzabe and Rachelle Reichert, whose mixed media works were installed on-site especially for the event. The thematic framework of the event was inspired by Reichert’s use of salt as a fundamental material, Arzabe’s practice of weaving together both materials and narratives, and their recent marriage to each other. The artists collaborated with chef Damon Little of the Headlands Center for the Arts on a menu and program based around ideas of salt and fermentation. Guests dined alongside the two artists at a single long table created by a local woodworker and enjoyed wine provided by an artisanal winemaker in Sonoma.

Influenced by the concepts behind social practice art, Little created a family-style dinner that encouraged diners to interact with their food and each other in new ways. Instead of describing each course, the evening’s menu featured a list of ingredients in alphabetical order, so that each dish became a process of discovery. Little’s salt-
encrusted chickens, presented without serving utensils, were not only visually enticing––they also forced the group to forego traditional table etiquette and literally “dig in.”