by Paris Wolfe, Contributing Writer
If you haven’t purchased a dinner from the Dining with the Arts fundraiser, pick one soon. This isn’t just food, it’s an experience. We were overwhelmed the Progressive Arts Dinner on July 14. After meeting at the home of Ashtabula Arts Center executive director Meeghan Humphrey we were shuttled to each of four courses held in lush garden settings at the countryside homes of four different artists.
Judy Campbell, owner of Bridge Street Artworks, and her husband Don offered a tour of his day lily hybridizing beds which included original lilies that he created. After that Judy provided canvases on which to paint lilies while quaffing wine punch. The brave in our bunch of eight diners sampled the edible day lilies in a fruited salad.
The next stop, Greg and Pat Seymour started with a savory bruschetta cheesecake and a selection of beverages including watermelon-bourbon punch. Part two of this second course included two soups – garden fresh tomato and coconut curry zucchini. Between servings Greg demonstrated wood turning on his lathe and explained how Japanese artist George Nakashima’s respect for the tree has inspired his work. (PHOTO)
Becca Stowell greeted us at the third stop where we dined on chicken and pork kebabs, risotto and fresh vegetables. Then, we played with clay as Becca showed up how to make hand-carved clay tiles. (PHOTO)
And the finale was like coming home after a busy day. Blacksmith Ralph Bacon, Meeghan’s husband, demonstrated in his forge. Then, we relaxed under an organic pergola woven of black locust saplings and glowing strings of lights. I was sated from earlier stops, but someone had to eat the peach dumpling with bourbon hard sauce and so I did.
Not all dinners are quite so interactive, but all have themes and generous menus served in lovely local homes and businesses that promise to be an experience. Get yours now at Dining for the Arts.