As an artist, Vladimir Kolosov doesn’t think it’s weird or strange to be inspired by gelato.
Food, in all its wondrous forms, has always stimulated the mind, not only the tongue.
Think back to the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age of Art, he says.
“Foods of all kinds are represented in beautiful still-life paintings.”
The paintings are so vivid and “so tasty that you want to eat them” says Kolosov, referencing the art of Dutch masters Willem Kalf, Willem Heda, Peter Claecz and many others.
Travel to Spain and enjoy wonderful still-life of Antonio Pereda. In France, food inspired Sezanne.
Closer to home, the Art Institute of Chicago presented an exhibition in January titled “Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine”. It featured 75 paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 18th through 20th century.
Two artists Emilie Baltz and Carla Diana created “Likestra” – a musical performance that uses ice cream or gelato as the musical instrument.
“I can continue and it will be a very long list of artists who was inspired by foods and particularly by gelato, and ice cream,” Kolosov says.
Through his non-profit organization, the Together in Art Foundation, Kolosov intends to nurture that artistic tradition with a competition for children and youth titled the Art of Gelato.
The competition launched earlier this year in Rimini, Italy at the biggest trade show dedicated to artisan gelato and ice cream.
Winners will be featured in an art show and get a trip to Italy which includes visits to fine art museums in Rome, Florence and Milan.
Kolosov says the goal of the contest is to encourage children and students to discover and express their inner creativity, to enhance intercultural exchange and communication through visual arts.
The competition also supports a fundraising campaign titled “Visual Art can Change Life”.
Funds raised will go to organizations who develop visual arts programs for people with special needs.
Born in the former U.S.S.R., Kolosov studied painting, sculpture and music at Moscow’s Fine Arts Youth School, a program that ran parallel to a regular primary and secondary education.
It was a time when only one movement was official approved and supported – socialist realism with a mission to further of the goals of socialism and communism.
It prompted Kolosov to investigate other art movements.
He was drawn to surrealists, whose works featured unexpected juxtapositions and dream-like imagery.
A member of the South Delta Artists Guild and Garibaldi Arts Club, Kolosov’s paintings may look Dali-esque but instead chronicle real life.
Just in case, budding artists might be stumped by the “Art of Gelato”, Kolosov wants to remind them it’s possible to find inspiration in just about anything.
“Making artisan gelato is an art itself,” he says.
• To enter the Art of Gelato contest, visit to www.togetherinarts.org/Contest.html. The submission deadline is September 30. Contestants must be a resident of Italy, Canada or the U.S.A. It is open to ages seven to 21 years.