- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - Barbara Spiegel’s dream of creating a public art exhibition was deferred for decades until her recent retirement, and that dream has finally come true at her first installation at Stepping Stones Museum for Children.

The exhibition, titled “Food For Thought,” consists of more than 70 of Spiegel’s whimsical felt food creations.

“I had always been interested in drawing and painting, and went to school for art, but you couldn’t make a living at it so I went to work in accounts payable and data processing. I was always sewing and creating designs, and I said someday I would do this fulltime,” said Spiegel, a Norwalk resident.

Spiegel attended the School of Art at University of Connecticut, and said in her junior year she was chosen as one of two students in competition for an art fellowship at Yale University.

“In the end I wasn’t chosen, but at the time I didn’t realize what a big deal that was,” she said. “I went right to work after school, but I did sewing and painting on the side. When I retired this past July, I called Stepping Stones to see if they would be interested in displaying some of my items for a fun children’s exhibit about foods.”

Food For Thought, which will be on display at Stepping Stones until the end of 2015, features, among other food items, “dancing” vegetables and smiling bowls of stews and soups.

“When Barbara approached the exhibit department, we thought the pieces were appropriate and inspirational for children and adults,” said Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Stepping Stones director of exhibit design. “The timing was just right and we had space. What’s perfect about the location in the museum is that it’s right next to our “making spaces” area in which children make artwork out of recycled materials.”

While the exhibition has a rare “hands-off” aspect for Stepping Stones, Cifaldi-Morrill said that it is interactive just the same.

“It was challenging for us, as a hands-on environment to have the pieces displayed behind acrylic panels, but what’s great about it is that children will run up to the cases and try to identify the foods,”?Cifaldi-Morrill said. “They draw their parents in and try to guess what each food is.”

One of the more difficult aspects of Spiegel’s exhibit was choosing 70 of the hand-sewn pieces from the more than 200 she has created in the past couple of years.

“I’ve been making these as gifts, and I’ve created lobsters, chicken soup, bacon and eggs, seafood stew, ravioli and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, among others,” Spiegel said. “All of them have eyes and their own personalities. It’s fun to put them together and it’s fun to see how much the children enjoy them.”

Two pieces that didn’t make the cut at Stepping Stones, but are two of Spiegel’s favorites, are a nod to some notable possible presidential candidates Spiegel has created — Hillary Cornbread and the Trump muffin.

“I have a lot of fun with these and my goal is that others will too,” she said.

___

Information from: The Hour, https://www.thehour.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide