Culinary art show to be a tribute to late chef – Elk Grove Citizen

The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center on July 11 will have their first art competition since Sacramento County’s stay-at-home order forced them to cancel their spring shows.

They reopened their space last month and their upcoming show, “Culinary ART” will be dedicated to the love of fine dining, cooking, and culinary service.  

As a way to honor her artistically and culinarily gifted brother, John Baxter Shaw, local artist and gallery member Kimberly Shaw, married the two with a food-themed art show.

Originally, the show was to include two sections for competition – the art show, and a baking competition. In light of the virus outbreak, the baking portion was canceled; however, fortunately for artists, all forms of media depicting dining, food  and food service will be included in the show.

“The Culinary ART Show was created in honor of my late brother John, a Chicagoland chef,” Kimberly Shaw said. “John was also a painter, and we shared a love of art, music and good food.  I thought it would be fun to have a show focused on culinary art, foodies, dining and service … I think folks will enjoy viewing art depicting food and culinary creations, without having to take their mask off. It’s a lighthearted show.”

Mr. Shaw died by suicide in 1994 after suffering from depression. He passed away a few days after Kimberly and her husband closed on their first home in Elk Grove.  Had he lived, his sister said that he would have continued not just his culinary career, but also his visual art endeavors.

Since his death, Kimberly became involved in local support group, Friends for Survival, and is still a supporter of their organization.

“I found their meetings tremendously helpful,” she said. “It was a safe place in which I learned to talk about John freely, and learn that shame surrounding suicide isn’t necessary. I still refer people to them years later.”

John was a chef who worked at some notable establishments, including The University Club in Chicago, and as head chef of a restaurant owned by two of the Chicago Bears in the early 90s. He also enjoyed painting in acrylic. In college, he participated in the Escoffier’s Dinner, which was a very elegant dinner honoring the food of French Chef Aguste Escoffier, Kimberly said.

Judging the show is foothills artist, teacher, singer and entrepreneur Sheri Hoeger, who notably launched her decorative arts business in 1988. She went on to become a force in the decorative art world by opening a teaching gallery and creating her own very successful stencil line, which was featured on television and in numerous magazines.

Her public art can be seen in locations around Northern California.  Kimberly said she got to know her years ago when she was working in decorative art.

“(Sheri Hoeger) has been a personal inspiration to me as an artist,” she said. “She was the perfect choice of judge for this show, because she has experience in many different mediums and styles.”

In summary, for Kimberly, “the show marries fond memories of my brother and his fabulous talent as a chef, as well as our mutual love of painting.”

The Culinary ART Show opening reception will be held July 11 from 4 -7 p.m. The show runs from July 4- 24.

The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center staff is observing safety protocols, including a hand-sanitizer station at the door, temperature checks, masks and social distancing. The public is encouraged to stop by for either the reception or during normal business hours Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center is at 9683 Elk Grove-Florin Road. For more information, visit www.ElkGroveFineArtsCenter.org or call (916) 685-5992.