Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artists Get Their Hands on an Idea and Create Enduring Alternatives to Traditional Jack-O'-Lanterns; the Great Pumpkin

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artists Get Their Hands on an Idea and Create Enduring Alternatives to Traditional Jack-O'-Lanterns; the Great Pumpkin

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport, Times-Union home and garden editor

Halloween turns our thoughts to the ethereal: mist-shrouded landscapes, wandering ghosts and mansions haunted by sad histories. We also think of gaudier, ghoulish, fantastic images: trick-or-treaters disguised as cartoon heroes, monsters and fairy princesses . . . and the smell of rotting pumpkins.

We don't live where October means frost and cold temperatures, so carving jack-o'-lanterns must be an Oct. 30 ritual lest the leering face melt onto your porch. To avoid such an incident, we asked several Jacksonville artists, established or otherwise, to offer alternatives to the traditional carved pumpkin. Here is the exhibit they created.

Far left:

Haunting Image

by Lauren Buzbee, Sixth-grader at LaVilla School of the Arts

Media: Pumpkin, terra-cotta pot, glow-in-the-dark paint, cotton balls, yarn toothpicks, glue and gauze.

Artist's statement: I like ghosts, and I thought since pumpkins are Halloweenish, a ghost theme would go good with the subject.

Center top:

Miss Star Squash

by Liz Burns, Jacksonville artist

Media: Acrylic paint, costume props, found objects.

Artist's statement: Now, she doesn't even look like a pumpkin. I've always been fascinated with faces. When I was a little kid, I wouldn't just paint Easter eggs, I put wigs on them and made characters. My parents encouraged me. Isn't that great? And when we went to the beach, I didn't build sand castles. I made sand faces.

Center bottom:

Mask of Silenus

by Hope McMath,Director of Education for The Cummer Museum of Art &

Gardens

Media: Acrylic on pumpkin.

Artist's statement: The design was inspired by an ancient Roman mosaic in the Cummer's present permanent collection. The wild-eyed, leaf encircled face is that of Silenus, a woodland deity associated with the Greek god Dionysus and the Greek theater. Silenus was reputed to possess great wisdom and the power of prophecy. Because of his connection with revelry and the harvest and the fact that the original mosaic shows him as masked, Silenus seemed appropriate surface decoration for a pumpkin. …

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