WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- “The world didn’t know it needed pumpkin art,” Waddell Stillman confided in me at the opening of The Art of the Pumpkin, an exhibition in which 25 artists interpreted the orange fellow.
Stillman is the President and CEO of Historic Hudson Valley (HHV). He and his HHV cohorts dreamed up the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze some years back. It caught on like a pumpkin wild fire and ever since thousands of pumpkinites have been spending Halloween with Stillman and company. Who would have thunk that so much good other than pie could come from a pumpkin?
Every year, since then, artist Michael Natiello and his merry band of pumpkin sculptors have been carving and lighting the environs of historic Van Cortland Manor to the delight of thousands of visitors. A clever ruse it is indeed to lure the public to a historic site and give them a much needed dose of local history whether they like it or not. Not satisfied with this spectacular but devious deception in the hallowed name of Halloween, those HHV wizards are now turning pumpkins into art.
So, here’s what I’d love to know. Does the art turn back into pumpkins at midnight? And, for anyone who has ever carved a pumpkin, how do they dispose of them after the Blaze? Finally, does anyone know the rest of the words to this song: “Oh a lone pumpkin sat on a green pumpkin vine, he was round, he was fat, he was yellow. No silly Jack O’lantern shall I make he said. I’m determined that I’ll be a useful fellow.” All answers will be acknowledged with a trick or a treat.
Janet Langsman is chief executive officer of ArtsWestchester. Her weekly blog is published with permission of ArtsWestchester and is also posted online.