‘Baked, Mashed or Fried’ returns to Moses Lake museum Friday

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Ramon Cerna hangs submissions to the new ‘Baked, Mashed or Fried’ show opening Friday at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center.

MOSES LAKE — A new edition of one of the most popular exhibits in the history of the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center will open Friday. The artists reception for “Reheated: Baked, Mashed or Fried” is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the museum, 401 S. Balsam St. The show will be on display through Nov. 9.

The opening reception is sponsored by the Washington State Potato Commission.

In addition to the art exhibit, there will be information about the role of Grant County and Washington as top agriculture producers and potatoes in art and culture. Potato-themed activities are scheduled during the exhibit.

“Baked, Mashed or Fried” is, as the name implies, all about potatoes, potatoes in watercolor and collage, potatoes in fabric and oils, potato sculptures. The original show opened in 1994 and shows continued for a decade, according to a press release from the museum.

Potatoes were – and are – among the most important products grown in Grant County, and back in 1994 museum officials decided to see if potatoes could be art as well as fries and potato chips. The resulting exhibits drew artists from all around the state. “Artists schemed all year to how to outdo each other and win the coveted ‘Golden Potato’ award,” the press release said.

The Golden Potato award is back too. It’s a $500 purchase award from the Washington State Potato Commission.

As evidenced by the 2018 show, potatoes can be can be the subject of photographs, like a fleet of toy trucks and toy workers trying to pull a potato from the dirt. They can be the subject of paintings and drawings, like the potato still lifes in oils and black and white drawings. Potatoes can parody famous artists like Gustav Klimt. Potatoes can be subjects of sculpture in fabric and wood. (One sculpture depicts the horrifying moment when a wandering potato comes home and discovers what has happened to his friends – but hey, those fries look yummy.)

The opening reception also includes the “Adult Swim,” a craft project for adults. Friday’s project will be potato stamps; participants carve their own designs, using potatoes as the stamping medium.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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