Food for thought, and art, at Featherstone

"Owen Park Breakfast." — Art by Marston Clough

Unlike the recent Art of Chocolate Festival, the current show at Featherstone Center for the Arts features edibles, but not of the tangible variety. A collection of food-themed paintings, photos, drawings, and collage makes up the exhibition, called “Eat Your Art Out.” Like many of the group shows hosted by the arts campus, there’s a wide variety of media and styles.

Two of the most colorful and eye-catching pieces are hung side by side on the back wall. Mary French’s huge acrylic of a sliced tomato has a bit of a pop art sensibility. Cynthia Wyman’s “Happy Peppers” channels Van Gogh’s fondness for bright colors and bold outlines.

Not surprisingly, still lifes abound. Mary-Louise Rouffe has contributed a lovely apple painting done with a lot of subtle texturing. Ruth Kirchmeir employed her woodcut block printing prowess to create two endearing prints: one of a bowl of plums and one with bulbs of garlic.

Jules Worthington exhibits his mastery of many styles with two very attractive oil paintings: one very traditional still life with cured meats and cheese, the other a stylized depiction of squashes on a vine with falling maple leaves. Jean Cargill also chose to depict food on the vine with her very sweet small watercolor of a tomato plant and flitting insects.

In some cases, the Featherstone staff made a point of grouping similar subject matter together. Chetta Kelly’s very voluptuous single pear “portrait” hangs next to Debby Rosenthal’s grouping of the same fruit done in a simple, rustic style. In the back room of the gallery, Angela Egerton and Fern Vaughn offer up two takes on the same still life grouping of fruits and vegetables.

A number of Island photographers have pointed their lenses toward edible subjects. Anne Reveruzzi’s color shots of a meat market window with hanging prosciutto and a waitress behind the counter of a gelato shop capture Italy in all its gastronomic glory. Molly Glasgow’s beautiful photo has the look of a still life painting with a very large blank space above a table arrangement of edibles.

The medium of collage is represented in the show by a couple of works in seaweed, including a trio of cupcakes by Kathy Poehler, a lovely design work made from dried greens, herbs, and flowers by Ellie Bates, and two pieces by Daisy Lifton created using an Asian torn paper technique. Ms. Lifton’s chosen subjects are, appropriately, sushi and an egg roll.

“Eat Your Art Out” is another great example of the Featherstone staff’s ingenuity in coming up with new themes every year for their multiple group shows.