BLOGWinners Announced! The Art of Produce – A Tomato-Inspired Student Art Exhibit

Art and agriculture, while seemingly distinct realms, came together at this year’s Global Organic Produce Expo (GOPEX), an annual trade show hosted by The Packer. As sponsoring exhibitors, we wanted to bring something unexpected to the center of the event’s opening reception. This came in the form of an art exhibit showcasing the talents of young high-school artists from our local community.

The journey leading up to the exhibit was a collaborative effort between Wholesum, the GOPEX planning team, and the Nogales High School art department. Wholesum organic tomatoes became the focal point for this artistic exploration. Students were encouraged to delve into the essence of a variety of Wholesum tomatoes, capturing their unique aspects such as shape, color, flavor and history through artwork.

Attendees voted on the pieces they believed exhibited most skillful use of technique and best reflected the artist’s inspiration. Today, we’re thrilled to announce the winners of this anticipated art show where the vibrant world of Wholesum tomatoes served as the muse for students’ artistic expressions.

Winners of the 2-D Art Category

First Place: Keila’s Juicy Tomato

Artist: Angel Ricardo Osuna

drawing of girl eating tomato

The inspiration for this piece according to Osuna was a beefsteak tomato due to its classic look. “When I think of a tomato, I think of the beefsteak,” he notes. His piece was also inspired by his friend, Keila, “I wanted to represent how when people see you have something, they want to take it away,” he adds. In his illustration, his friend, Keila is holding a vibrant tomato surrounded by prying hands. The piece uses mixed media and elements of realism to illustrate his inspiration.

Second Place: Tomat-Oh

Artist: Zoey Bartholomew

tomato cross section

This piece, inspired by Wholesum cherry tomatoes, is an abstract painting using acrylics on canvas. “My inspiration for this piece was the resemblance of the cross section of a cherry tomato to looking through a kaleidoscope,” states Bartholomew while making reference to the unique textures and symmetry of a tomato as her visual inspiration.

Winners of the Ceramic Art Category

First Place: A Red Slice of Culinary Art

Artist: Danna Paola Rivas Ramos

ceramic cutting board with tomatoes

Rivas presented skillful application of clay and glaze to depict multiple tomato varieties. She writes, “I imagine a sun-soaked kitchen in my city, ripe tomatoes fresh from the vine. Adding a vibrant splash of color to the rustic cutting board.” Her inspiration ties to a specific scenario, making tomatoes the center of her story. “The piece is a celebration of simple, fresh ingredients and the joy of home cooking,” she adds.

Second Place: The Body of Fruitfulness

Artist: Ana Duran

sculpture of woman with tomato head

Duran has created previous ceramic works showcasing the figure of a woman’s body, which she wanted to depict in this work.  However, she was also intrigued by the shape of the vines of a tomato on the vine. True to her signature style of clay sculpting, she states, “I decided to replace the woman’s head with a tomato and have the vines represent her hair…  I replaced the woman’s arms with droopy ones in order to complement the tomato with the vine effect.”

Art Gallery

We would like to congratulate all the winners for capturing the minds of our produce industry friends with their inspiring pieces! First place winners for each category will receive a $500 award, and runner ups will each be awarded $250 to be used on education-related expenses.

We would also like to thank The Packer’s team for helping us foster this connection between agriculture and art during their annual expo, as well as the Nogales High School art department for partnering with us on this project and helping students find inspiration in the unexpected. This was a truly exciting experience for all of us! We hope all who were present at the event also left with a renewed inspiration and fresh take on what brought us all together in the first place; produce!

You can read more about the events leading up to the exhibit in our press release.

Click here for a digital gallery of all art submissions.