No Starving Artists Here: Artists Who Cook

By / Photography By Brian Kelley | December 20, 2017
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Art binds us together: teaching, inspiring, encouraging beauty. And we are all art collectors. Yes, even though you may not own an original painting, may find poetry unintelligible, or classical music frankly puts you to sleep… no matter.

We have a stereotypical vision of artists: like Vincent Van Gogh painting in a leaky garret, suffering for his art—alone, unknown, and hungry. Full canvas, empty stomach.

But romantic a notion as this may seem, everybody’s gotta eat.

Oh food, the great equalizer—that necessary life force bringing us again and again to the table. Good cooks are artists. Their canvases are dinner plates, cast iron pans, dessert bowls, our appetites. We can taste the effort and love in each bite, and the food is better for it—we are better for it. These are the artists that nourish the soul and the stomach, inspiring and filling all at once.

Often a good artist is also a cook.

At the intersection of life and the artist’s way lies the kitchen. Because if you know an artist, then there’s a good bet they’ve fed you some memorable meals too. The following pages prove it: three artists, all finding outlets and inspiration in food. For one, food itself is his medium as he creates transcendent treats. Another finds his artistic outlet forging heirloom kitchen tools, inspiring chefs around the country. And a painter uses her home kitchen as an extension of her studio, nourishing her family while vibrant flavors and color feed her artist’s soul. Here are three stories of art and food. There are countless others.

We gather hungry around the table this season, maybe more than ever. Hungry for light in dark times, hungry for color and flavor, hungry for inspiration, for hope. Here is where we are all collectors of art: here at the table. It’s the artists among us that illuminate the way. Taste and see.

Click the links to the left for the stories of painter Annie Koelle, baker Jonathan Russ, and blacksmith Dan Eastland.

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