This year, the theme is “food as art” and the Special Visual Artist may be one you recognize. He has appeared in the show “Believe it or Not,” been featured in the New York Daily News, and other international publications. With assistance from his wife, Marie Pelton, Jim Victor has traveled all over the United States and abroad for his work. They specialize in sculptures made out of butter, chocolate, vegetables or cheese. However, his piece for this event will be entirely made out of butter. We caught up with Jim and Marie before the event to learn more about their work:
What made you decide to use butter as a medium?
Working in butter came about in 1994 when Jim responded to an ad in the Help Wanted section for a Butter Sculptor for the PA Farmshow. He got the job based on his previous experience using Chocolate as a medium, as well as his experience in other sculptural endeavors using traditional materials. So, 1995 was the first butter sculpture for Jim, and I started helping him in 2000 doing
the sculptures and conceptualizing ideas for the final designs.For me, creating tableaus of animals and people seems to be a natural part of my artistic wheelhouse and are topics I gravitate to. Jim’s work, although figuratively based is inclined to creative constructions and inventive abstractions.
What are some of the challenges of creating butter sculptures?
Some of the challenges creating butter sculptures include keeping the temperature right, making a strong armature and having enough space in the booth to work. First and foremost is having a climate controlled room or booth to work in. Jim and I start at about 60 degrees so that the butter at first is malleable and soft. This allows us to build up the volume fast, then we turn the temperature down to about 50 at least to work on a harder surface and create specific details. Jim and I make the armatures for each sculpture usually out of steel that we bend into the basic gesture of the figure then weld together. Thirdly, there is always the challenge of having enough room to work, especially when you start to add multiple figures.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ll be creating at the Lubbock Arts Festival, and what are you most excited about for your visit to Lubbock?
Jim and I will be doing the Red Rider on horseback, an iconic image for the Lubbock area. We are looking forward to the Arts Festival, interacting and meeting the people there and creating a wonderful sculpture for people to enjoy.
Continuing with this year’s theme, engineers of Parkhill, Smith & Cooper will display “Canstruction,” a piece made entirely out of cans of food. With all of this food around it is easy to get hungry, but don’t worry, there will be an expanded culinary area with tastings featuring Lubbock’s top food entrepreneurs.
You also don’t have to worry about getting a babysitter for this event. Children can get in on the fun too at 10 free “Kid Stops,” including ‘make and take’ projects, Kids Karaoke and a Home Depot activity. Even the National Ranching Heritage Center wanted to do something special, and will host a storytelling performance by “Hank the Cowdog” author, John Erickson, along with an art activity in the Children’s Area related to the beloved stories.
When: Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane
Cost: $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12
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