Monday, January 10, 2011

Moo-verlous Sculpting Medium

Fuel Up to Play 60.  butter sculpture by Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Pa.
I like polymer clay as a sculpting medium, another artist in my state, Jim Victor, prefers butter.

Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, has been an artist and teacher for more than 30 years. His sculptures appears in public and private collections, including the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. He works in wood, bronze, terra cotta, butter, cheese, chocolate, and vegetables.

1,000 pounds of delicious art  
Jim has traveled all over the United States and even China to unveil his unique take on sculpting. What he is getting press for right now is the nearly 1,000 pounds of butter that he turned into Fuel Up to Play 60, the centerpiece of the 95th Pennsylvania Farm Show which opened Saturday.

The piece shows a dairy farmer bringing milk to children playing on a jungle gym and tossing a ball with a football player. It recognizes the dairy industry's partnership with the National Football League, which encourages children to eat a balanced diet including low-fat milk and dairy foods filled with essential vitamins and minerals, and be active for at least 60 minutes each day.

Jim began crafting the life-size piece in mid-December and finished just in time for the Farm Show. He created it from butter donated by Land O' Lakes in Carlisle, Pa.   

If you want to see the piece in person before it is converted into biofuel at Penn State, you can swing by the the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg through Jan. 15. Admission is free and parking is $10.

The 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and  290 commercial exhibitors.

Rich History in Butter Sculpting
Butter sculptures have been a long-time tradition at the farm show, but Pennsylvanians aren't alone in their love of butter sculptures. During winter festivals, Tibetans mold butter into various forms that depict the life of Buddha. The butter for these sculptures, from yak or goat milk, is snowy white and can have pigments added to color the sculptures.

Does your area have a unique food/art tradition?

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