All of us have favorite foods or meals we like most. Favorite foods may develop partly from family traditions, food habits, availability, or taste and texture of the food. Atypical uses for foods cover everything from household cleansers to glass repair. Prior to starting the research for this blog post, I had no idea that garlic juice can be used to repair small defects or cracks in glass. I wonder how many people use food items for things other than sustenance.

Art production from food has been around forever. I like to think that culinary arts involve more than the art of cooking – it includes facilitation of flavor combinations, food colors, and tastes. Edible sculptures are created using cakes, fruits, vegetables, and many other foods. There are sculptures and artistic dishes constructed for the purpose of eating at a party or family gathering. Other food-based works of art are created for visual intake such as designs created each year on Mitchell, South Dakota’s Corn Palace. Touring the Corn Palace is a must if you have the opportunity to visit Mitchell, South Dakota.

The goal associated with constructing this amazing backdrop for local arts was to provide evidence for visitors of the state that South Dakotans had fertile land that brought about large crop yields of corn. The first Corn Palace was constructed in Mitchell, SD in 1892 and featured murals made from ears of corn that had been nailed to the building’s exterior. The current Corn Palace is much larger than the first one and contains an arena and other spaces for community events. Different artists are chosen for each installation and they create murals that fit the chosen theme for the season. Pictures of previous Corn Palace Murals can be found on their website, https://cornpalace.com/.

What an honor it must be to be chosen as the artist to generate the design to cover that large structure! Of course, that artist must become comfortable with the fact that some of their masterpiece may get consumed by birds over the course of its display. Not only is their artwork visually pleasing, it also provides food for local birds.

Portrait of Mary Berry painted by Artist, Nathan Wyburn, who used crushed berries to create the work.

Artist, Nathan Wyburn, creates art from food and candy. Nathan Wyburn is from Cardiff, Wales and he paints or constructs portraits out of food items as well as multiple types of candy. He painted a portrait of Gene Wilder using melted chocolate as the art medium. Wyburn also made a portrait of Albert Einstein out of Smartie Candies. The Einstein Portrait was commissioned work for the Techniquest Art Museum in Cardiff. He has used toast and many other food products in his artwork.

Wyburn’s work is colorful and creative – it is amusing to see how he pairs the art medium to the subject he paints (Einstein portrait made with Smarties Candies, Gene Wilder’s portrait with chocolate (Willie Wonka reference), and the painting of Mary Berry, food writer and the Host of the Great British Bake Off. Nathan Wyburn used crushed berries to paint the portrait of Mary Berry. The joy he obtains from creating these works of art is evident in the videos of Nathan Wyburn painting with various food items, many signifying a humorous or actual tie to the featured celebrity. The Mary Berry Portrait, one of my favorites, is featured in this blog post with permission from the artist, photo credit: MaryBerry@NathanWyburnArt.

Mr. Wyburn permitted use of or reference to the video of him painting Mary Berry’s Portrait. View the YouTube Video using the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmKuXMm5xH0


Fast Food Book Photo

Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers are the creators of "Fast Food", published by Arthur A. Levine Books in 2006. This is a children's book about transportation featuring vehicles, people, pets, and scenery all made from fruits and vegetables. The creativity of these authors and artists is impressive with green onion figures and mushroom characters riding bicycles and tricycles made out of sliced oranges, baby bell peppers, and beans. A ginger reindeer and Santa with a sleigh made from a red pear, sled-runners composed of green beans, and a cauliflower Claus with a radish cap. The book's cover flap statement is fun and inviting:

"Your feet can walk and run and skip,

But are they best for every trip?

If your answer is a "no,"

Here are other ways to go:

Peeling out on green-bean skis,

Kayaking on cabbage seas,

Driving a zucchini train,

Soaring in an okra plane!

(Hungry? Even if you are,

Please try not to eat your car.)

For fun with speed and altitude,

Grab a little fresh FAST FOOD!"

 

While “Fast Food” is a great print food art production, regarding video message delivery and humor expressed by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, creators of Veggie Tales™. This animation features many vegetables and some fruits that review Bible stories in ways that are enjoyable for children and adults. Puns are present throughout the videos and this increases the viewing enjoyment for audiences of any age. I enjoy their food-based humor quite a bit. Veggie Tales Prints are used in GrubDudz Children’s Hats and GrubDudz Children’s Aprons. These prints can be used for adult hats or aprons upon request.

Food art extends beyond visual productions – there is a Vegetable Orchestra performing with instruments carved out of fresh produce. Pumpkins provide the percussion instruments. Their music is lively and you can listen to their Green Album by following this link: http://www.vegetableorchestra.org/greenalbum.php.... Orchestra members carve carrots and radishes into whistles or other wind instruments, they even make a scallion oboe! These musicians are not wasteful – the leftover veggies are used to make soup that the they offer to the audience after their musical performance.

Food nourishes our bodies through energy and nutrient delivery when we eat. Food can also provide nourishment for our souls and creativity when we take in these great pieces of art produced by artists and authors using different methods and materials to generate their work.