‘Culinary Drama’ spices up The Arts Company

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by MiChelle Jones

Knoxville-based artist Denise Stewart-Sanabria has a way with food. Her latest exhibition at The Arts Company includes several overhead views of fruit and produce — eggplants, mangoes, apples, etc. — painted in a way that makes them seem fresh, enticing and also a little mischievous.

“Culinary Drama” remains on view through June 28 and includes “Smashed Watermelon on Mid-Century Pink and Avocado Tile.” In this oil-on-wood painting, a round watermelon sits spilling its bright red guts, yet still wearing its produce label.

The pink and green tile also makes an appearance in “The Battle of Goo Goo Moon” (36 inches by 36 inches), oil on canvas. This painting shares the look of Stewart-Sanabria’s previously exhibited series of decadent doughnuts staged against black backgrounds.

Here, a white cake stand balanced on two empty Ball canning jars is topped with partially eaten Goo Goos and Moon Pies; a wrapper and smashed box (displaying its “Made in Nashville” claim) are also in the picture.

“Polished Key Limes” is a grid of 16 lime halves, some a little worse for the wear, as though they’ve already been squeezed into a beverage of some sort. All have been splattered with pink glitter nail polish.

The Arts Company is at 215 Fifth Ave. N. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information call 615-254-2040 or go to theartscompany.com.