EAST BEND — A group of young people visited a local farm on Tuesday morning for a unique purpose. The children were choosing vegetables that they would be using as models to create a still-life painting as part of a special art camp hosted by Sharon Grubbs at her home studio in East Bend.
“For artists, part of art is experiencing the whole organic nature behind it,” Grubbs explained. Many of her students are from Winston-Salem so part of her goal was also to give the children a peek into life in a rural community.
“I wanted them to get excited about just being outside in the summer and experience some country life,” she said about what she calls her Art and Adventure camp. “I wanted them to get out and see what rural life is like and have a respect for the farmers and see where their food comes from and then take that and incorporate it with the art. It all connects together in producing good art.”
Donald and Sammy Kieffer hosted the group at their sustainable farm in Yadkinville. The couple began gardening a few years ago and soon had more than they could eat themselves so they began selling produce at area farmers markets.
In addition to several acres of muscadine grapes, the Kieffers grow everything from potatoes to kale, green beans, squash, tomatoes and more.
Sammy Kieffer’s love for her garden and joy at teaching the children all about it was evident as she knelt down in the dirt and quizzed the children on their favorite types of vegetables and helped them to chose some to use in their paintings.
“I love to dig in the dirt and then to see the new vegetables come on the vine and then to enjoy them,” Kieffer said. “I enjoy going to the farmers market and just dealing with the people. I have met and made a lot of friends with the different customers and I count them as my friends.”
The children carefully chose each item to put in their basket that they would later use to paint their still life capturing the beauty of summer’s bounty.
Kieffer said that the cycle of the garden is something that brings her great joy as well.
“My favorite part is in the springtime when the weather starts to break and it just seems like everything comes to life,” she said. “To see when you plant a seed in the ground and to see it break ground and then to produce, it’s just new life and I love it.”
For more info about Sharon Grubbs’ art, visit www.sharongrubbs.com. The Kieffer’s produce can be purchased at area farmer’s markets in Yadkinville, Mocksville and Tanglewood or by calling 336-961-2244.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.