Friday, April 22, 2011

Farmers Markets in Art

Today and yesterday, Oakland artist Anthony Holdsworth writes about farmers markets visited, sketched and painted from the 60s to the present. More than a change of page writing the informative and exhorting the green sustainable, pieces like this remind of the aesthetic and sensory experience of markets, suggesting a regular feature on Farmers Markets in arts (as well as images of markets around the world, which we've already occasionally touched on)

(Read Brenda Payton’s on the street commentary in the Sunday Insight Section of the SF Chronicle)

  Old Oakland Market - April, 24"X35", oil/canvas, Anthony Holdsworth 2009
Old Oakland Market - April, 24"x 35", oil/canvas, Anthony Holdsworth, 2009
In these recessionary times Farmers’ Markets appear to be thriving. This is reassuring. Many of us look forward to their arrival in our neighborhood as a high point in the week. The sights, smells and flavors of the countryside spilling out onto concrete and asphalt. The opportunity to support small, family farmers, to pick up gardening tips. To enjoy the food stands and musicians. It’s  hard to imagine a time before most of these markets existed. It wasn’t so long ago.

Open air Market, Florence Italy 1976, Pen and Ink
Open air Market, Florence, Italy, pen and ink on paper.
My first encounter with an outdoor farmers’ market was in Florence, Italy in 1966. In those days this market occupied the piazza behind the Mercato Centrale. The local farmers had large handcarts with colorful awnings that could be unfurled on sunny days. It was a picturesque and animated scene overlooked by the pale yellow palazzi with their green shutters. The Duomo floated in the distance.

(Continue reading + more paintings and sketches; click images to enlarge)

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