Food, Farm, and Community
Food, Farm and Community
Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History
Sally L. Sutton
As a child, my family and I used to go to my grandparents’ house in Clovis California. We used to take the trek to the central California agricultural area, which has a desert climate, in the 1954 blue station wagon without air conditioning. I remember coming over the Grapevine, a high mountain point, and going down into a basin of pastures and irrigated land as far as you could see. I remember the smell of onions, and seeing the fields of vegetables. Outside it would be a dry sauna – sometimes in the summer 100 degrees or more.
My grandparents’ house was small but full of wonderful smells of fresh peaches with every meal and fresh grapes and we always had wonderful yummy eggs from her chickens. My grandparents raised sheep and some pigs and lots of chickens and kept a pasture where there were horses. I loved that world – it was so fun for exploration coming from the city/suburb of Culver City where I grew up. There was a giant walnut tree that grew over a shed on my grandparents’ land and I used to climb up the tree and then get onto the roof. I loved the perspective from the roof where I could look out and see the cultivated land and have a place to think. This place and time is where I established a connection with the farm and the farmer.
My grandparents introduced me to recycling at an early age. My grandfather used to reuse the tin cans and always had one outside on a water spigot where he took a drink. I always enjoyed drinking the cool water out of a tin. My grandmother always had a compost area going and much of that went to feed the chickens.
I received a first hand education on farm life during my childhood where my inspiration to start painting farmer’s markets and market produce began. I’m inspired by the color, smells and energy of the markets. I want to impart that emotional response that I feel into my work and this series I call Food, Farm and Community.
Sally Sutton grew up in Culver City California and received her BFA from California State University, Long Beach. She completed programs in painting and illustration at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles and Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. In May 2013 she completed her Masters Degree in drawing and painting at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She has been an adjunct professor at Craven Community College in New Bern, North Carolina teaching painting and art appreciation. Currently, she is teaching private workshops and small painting classes.
Sutton’s work has been exhibited in Tokyo at the Genkan Gallery of the Tokyo American Club, in the Meiji Gallery in Ginza, and in numerous shows in the United States. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections nationally and abroad. These include GlaxoSmithKline, SAS Institute, Northern Telecom Japan, Bank of America, Sun Trust, UNC Hospitals and Duke Medical Center.