Party Line: 'Taste/See' creations marry form, function

Smokers, cookers make statements at Metal Museum

Sarah Palin was the inspiration for J. Taylor Wallace’s smoker, which he created for Friday’s Art Cookers 4 show at the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Sarah Palin was the inspiration for J. Taylor Wallace’s smoker, which he created for Friday’s Art Cookers 4 show at the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

Blacksmiths demonstrated grills and smokers they cooked up for Art Cookers 4 "Taste/See" on Friday night at the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

James Viste grilled chicken breasts in his cooker/smoker, which was in the shape of a large pencil sharpener with a yellow "pencil" attached.

Erik L. Petersoncast his iron cooker -- "The Carryout Cooker" -- out of Styrofoam carryout boxes.

A vegetable steamer was the inspiration for Jeff Wallin's "Venus Filet Trap."

The tallest cooker was in the shape of an enormous Sarah Palin head. J. Taylor Wallace used it to cook a tea leaf-smoked, pear-stuffed suckling pig. The title of his project was "We're Havin' a Pear-ody."

"For the last couple of years (there) has been such a barrage of information from her," J. Taylor said. "I was really just tired of hearing about it, so I kind of wanted to do a piece about her, spend a little time with her image and see how I felt at the end of all that. It's been pretty cathartic."

Noah Kirby and his wife, Alison Ouellette-Kirby were curators of the show, which is held every two years at the museum.

Making it rain

"Make it Rain" was the theme of Friday night's fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis renovation campaign, but nobody wanted it to rain literally because part of the party was held outside.

Jason Tune, who organized the party with Tiffany Lemmons, took the name from the Fat Joe song "Make it Rain," meaning "make it rain with money" -- as in throwing bills in the air and letting them flutter down, Jason said. For the party, it meant "making it rain for Ronald McDonald House."

A portion of the proceeds from the event, which appropriately was held at Rain Premier Sushi Bar & Bistro, went to the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. The event, which began at 4 p.m. and ended around 2 a.m., featured bands including the Impeccable Miscreants and Skyline Divide; deejays Mary Jane and Digz; a fitness demonstration by St. Christopher Venom of French Riviera Spa and performances by The Pyramid Dance Co.

Food included a special Renovation Sushi Roll, which included tuna and mango, and a Makeover Martini.

Cystic fibrosis fundraiser

The Wolf River Rednecks band competed with the roar of motorcycles at a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on Saturday at Hustler Machine.

All of the proceeds will go to the foundation, said Luke Leatherwood, who held the fundraiser to celebrate the grand opening of his custom motorcycle service and fabrication business. Also on hand were his business partners, Willy Anderson and Matt Howard.

"I had a friend who passed away a little more than a year ago who had cystic fibrosis," Luke said. "He lived to be over 40 years old."

Luke estimated about 400 attended the event, which featured all-you-can-eat ribs and crawfish catered by Mike Robilio, Don Davis and Steve Voyles from Sidecar Café.

Balloon festooned

Colin Kidder's "Undergrowth" exhibit ballooned while he was working on it.

The focus of the show Friday night at Odessa was a suit made of different sizes and shapes of balloons.

"It started out small, and I kept adding on pieces like these rainbow colored 'tumors' popping out of the skin of the suit," Colin said. "So it got bigger and bigger -- eventually thousands of balloons."

A 6-minute video of Colin wearing the balloon suit played repeatedly during the show. "I was trying to create a feeling of you looking at some weird creature under a microscope. That's all the zooming in and the blurring and refocusing of the camera. No talking. Just the sound of the balloons squeaking against each other, rubbing. The whole thing is slowed down five times (less) than normal speed."

The show was a one-night event. "Close to 9 p.m., I started taking apart pieces of the suit, and I gave away the pieces to whoever was left. I asked some people to make donations to support Odessa."

So how did Colin inflate all those balloons? "I used an air compressor. I wouldn't dare try to blow them up by mouth."

-- Michael Donahue: 529-2797;

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