Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kool-Aid Days

Acrylic on gessobord, 12 x 16"
2013, painting #214

This is a gallery commission piece. The client is a collector of both Crown and Ball Mason jars, so this was the main requirement. I was pretty given much given carte blanche as far as the composition goes. As a still-life painter, objects often present themselves in daily life. If I have a visceral response to them, I will just buy them on impulse because one day these will serve as my muses to inspire an imagery worth considering. I have been holding on to these Kool-Aid packs since 2007. The teal tinted Ball Mason jar on the left and the hand- made paper drinking straws were both purchased on Etsy in 2011 from different vendors from Florida, the sunshine state. Last fall, I was lucky enough to acquire these Crown Mason jars from a local seller on Kijiji. These are in mint condition, so I was truly surprise to see the year 1948 on the bottom.

Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins. All of his experiments took place in his mother's kitchen. Its predecessor was a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack.To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953. Hasting, Nebraska, the town where the fruity thirst quencher was invented still celebrates a yearly summer festival called "Kool-Aid Days" on the second weekend in August. The title is in homage of it's inventor.

I remember as a child that we use to buy individual packages like these at 6¢ each from a nearby corner store. On hot summer days, we'd go swimming at the beach and upon returning a pitcher was soon empty with three kids going for refills. Check out this classic 1970's commercial - HERE.

-Gallery commission