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Front Page » September 12, 2002 » Local News » The "Gourd Lady"
Published 4,332 days ago

The "Gourd Lady"


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

Creating art from the garden

Norma Pickup of Price is pictured with many of her gourd art pieces she will feature in the upcoming art and culture exhibit. To the left, is one of Norma's birdhouses, while the lower right photo is a picture of he husband, Quint, in their gourd garden. Norma has been creating art pieces with gourds for only two years.

Artists from throughout Castle Country are gathering their works together today in preparation for the local group exhibit called Art and Culture of Castle Country. The show will feature art and folk art from the area and will open October 1 at the CEU Prehistoric Museum Art Gallery. The "Passing down of Art through the ages" is the theme and the committee is seeking artists. But the deadline is this Friday, September 13. Over 30 artists have already signed up but if anyone is interested and has not registered they should contact Pearl Oliver, guest curator, at 637-2770.

Other committee members besides Oliver is Marie Fausett, Iris Howe, Norma Pickup, Karen Templeton, and Blaine Atwood.

The show, which will run through December, will include a broad range of art work, including three dimensional art and literary works.

Several artists have been featured in the Sun Advocate the past couple months and the final artist recognized for her unique style is Norma Pickup. Norma has created an art form out of gourds and incorporates unique shaped and sized gourds into her art.

"I first saw the idea on television," said Norma, who was already dabbling in water color, oils and photography. "So I launched in a new direction." She added. That was two years ago and now, only in her second season, Pickup is creating beautiful pieces of gourd art.

These art pieces include bird houses, seasonal characters such as Easter bunnies, jack-o-lanterns, and snowmen, as well as beautiful baskets and interesting faces.

Pickup and her husband, Quint grow many of the small gourds and obtain the larger ones from Thayn's Farms in Green River.

Explaining the process, Pickup talked about cleaning the gourds with clorox. "This stops the mold and gets the vegetable really ready for painting." She then opens it up and takes out the seeds. "I use fast drying acrylic paints," she explained, adding that I also use leather dyes for the baskets. She also has created an interesting weave made out of pine needles for the tops of the Indian baskets.

"My most popular piece is the bird house," she said, "along with the Indian baskets."

Gourd art is not a new idea but it is one that takes a lot of creativity and imagination and artists like Norma Pickup can apply their artistic talents into creating masterpieces.


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