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Friendship and the Yum Yum Heirloom Tomato – Margaret Joseph – Guest Blogger

October 8, 2011

It’s strange that a random act of sharing should eventually lead to an exhibition at the Barn House Studio on September 17/18 this year. It was a special honor to be involved in this event and I believe all the Periwinkle group would concur.

22 years ago I had no idea I would be part of an exhibition.  At that time I shared a workspace with a colleague who was a passionate gardener. She gave me some of her dried heritage tomato seeds. I grew them and dried them for many years and loved the bright yellow pear shaped fruits that tasted so delicious.

About a year ago Gail introduced the idea of a theme for our final projects. And set a task of 12 4”x4” collages on our chosen themes! My mind raced around and I had all kinds of ideas but was hesitant where to begin. Another student from Gail’s Classes spent a long time talking with me and the light finally dawned that I just needed an inspirational idea to work with. So lots of fanciful plans disappeared but heirloom tomatoes remained.

I love stories. I love color, and I enjoy lovely food. Heirloom tomatoes are so varied. There’s an adventure about their existence. Their color and shape vary tremendously. The way they grow, cluster, and even hang is different. The flowers form beautiful patterns in silhouette. Each time you cut one the interior configuration is a little different. I just fell in love with them and their vines. The more you looked, the more ideas formed in your mind and so slowly I began to have a body of work. Not all heirloom tomatoes grow perfectly, so there are wonderful misshapen ones, which provide even more artistic challenge.

There was a huge excitement about this first exhibition in the new setting ,with both students and friends from other courses appearing to help with the preparations.  Our group of six students had a memorable six days. We were glad to be together again. We struggled at times, mounted our work, assisting one another as much as possible. We laughed, encouraged each other, and posed for photos. In the gallery the work continued but by 9.50a.m. on Saturday the 17thof September 2011  we were  all ready to open the doors to our first visitors. Gail was there to greet people and we waited tentatively.

What an explosion of joy and pleasure reigned for the next two days. Over 360 people attended the exhibition. They were so gracious and interested in our work. It was such a happy occasion for Gail and all of us.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 10, 2011 5:03 pm

    There is nothing like that exhibit! Even after a number of others that first student exhibit at Gail’s with years of work at a whole new level is really something. Congratulations,
    BTW, I thought the tomato image in the promotional material was really apealing.

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