Wednesday, April 17

Of Pimentos and Paintbrushes: Meet Emily Wallace

 Hello, I’m Emily Wallace, an eastern North Carolina native who now lives in Durham. I work as a freelance writer and illustrator, and assist the MFA in experimental and documentary arts at Duke University. I hold a BFA in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill.

From both of those degrees, my walls benefited, as I've amassed a good deal of artwork. A little-known side perk of art school is the exchange: “I’ll give you my weird doodle for your cool photograph,” and so on. You can graduate with quite a collection, and I did. But I didn’t expect the same from folklore, particularly when I decided to write a thesis on pimento cheese (a subject I’ve also written about for Gravy and presented at the 2010 SFA Symposium). As it turns out, when you travel from sandwich factory to sandwich factory, and scour eBay to research out-of-print pamphlets or advertisements, you end up with a lot of what one of my professors dubbed “pimento mementos.” They have become some of my favorite pieces, particularly an image of pimento cheese soaring atop a celery stalk, embossed on a 1950s linen napkin.

In the coming weeks, I'll be blogging about art and design as it relates to food—from the story behind the pattern on an Oreo cookie to the inspiration for some of my own illustrations.

Until the next post, I leave you with some of my favorite pimento images.

Images courtesy Emily Wallace. Click to enlarge.

Check out the PC on the left, hanging out next to the Deviled Egg.