By Hayley Thomas
Studios on the Park resident artist Joe Thomas don’t out on airs.
“When other people are saying, ‘That’s not art,’ that’s when I get interested,” Thomas said. “I want to challenge peoples’ preconceived notions of what fine art is.”
Thomas is currently putting out a call for artists of all walks of life for his second annual “Eat Your Heart Out” group show, slated for February 5 through March 1 at Studios on the Park in downtown Paso Robles.
Artwork should deal with the theme of food – and the artist’s relationship to it – without simply falling back on a still life portrait of a bowl of fruit. Thomas is curating the free show, to be judged by local Paso Robles Chefs Laurent Grangien of Bistro Laurent, Chris Kobayashi of Artisan, Maegen Loring of Niner Wine states and Santos MacDonal of il Cortile. “Eat your Heart Out” will serve as Studio son the Park’s only juried show for 2015.
“Everyone has a relationship with food – it’s such an intimate experience,” Thomas said. “Everyone has food memories, and they connect us to families and relationships. It’s about so much more than just bodily consumption, and my hope is that this show will addressed the multifaceted nature of how we treat our food, as well as how we treat each other.”
Speaking of how artists treat each other, Thomas said he encourages all facets of the art world, from older, more experienced painters to young upstarts just getting into a new medium, to join in on the experience. The same goes for locations: both artists living in North and South County are equally invited to take part.
“I really want to encourage the San Luis Obispo art community, in particular, to get involved,” Thomas said. “There are many talented artists south of the grade that I am proud to call friends, and we want them to show their work here at Studios on the Park.”
Thomas, also an organic farmer, has a unique connection to food that takes on a fresh life within his artwork.
“Grandma always said that when you love someone you cook for them. This act, cooking, is love made manifest,” Thomas said. “Meals have a way of capturing memories, emotions and feelings by pulling all of the senses into a specific moment. It is the lingering of that moment that has inspired so many artists of the past.”
According to the artist, “art is what it means to be human.”
“That being said, what it means to be human is to consume food,” Thomas added with a chuckle. “With this show, I want to challenge the status quo. Being in Paso Robles, home of such amazing food and wine, it really is a new frontier. And we can go wherever we want to go.”
To enter the show, visit studiosonthepark.org or email ThomasHillFarm@earthlink.net.
Important Dates of Artists
All artists of all mediums are encouraged to enter.
Intake: Feb. 1 from noon to 6 p.m. and Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Jurying: Feb. 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Pickup: Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon for unselected works.
Show Reception: Feb. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Pickup for all other works: March 1 from 5 to 6 p.m. and March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more guidelines, visit studiosonthepark.org.