Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stanford Pumpkin Art 2009

DSC02970 Halloween Pumpkin Shelf

Just when I thought it was impossible for Matt Kahn’s art students to come up with new ideas to carve a pumpkin, I was proven wrong. Again. For the eighth year now.

Professor Kahn has given the same assignment to his Stanford University students since 1949. They must carve a pumpkin, it must be a lantern, and it has to say “boo”. You can read more about the assignment here and my post from last year’s pumpkins is here.

The pumpkins started out innocuous enough in the daylight…

DSC02936 Bird Pumpkins

DSC02937 Pumpkin Face

…but then they took on a more ghoulish character at night:

DSC02954 Bird Pumpkins

DSC02976 Face Pumpkin

I saw this giant ram pumpkin glowing at the front of the driveway all the way from the end of the street:

DSC02944 Giant Ram Pumpkin

It proved to be difficult to capture its massive size through the lens of my camera. Perhaps you can appreciate its relative size next to the two onlookers standing on the left.

DSC02989 Giant Ram Pumpkin

The bold graphics of this cat-face pumpkin stood out amongst the others at the other end of the driveway.

DSC02953 Cat Pumpkin

This cartoon face definitely said “boo”:

DSC02977 Cartoon Face Pumpkin

The most creative “boo” went to this blood-thirsty shark:

DSC02971 Shark Pumpkin

The orange back light and the sinister eyes gave this kiss a grisly feeling:

DSC02956 Kiss Pumpkin

This minimalist pumpkin proved that it does not necessarily require hours of carving to be effective:

DSC02979 Minimalist Pumpkin

Not that there’s anything wrong with putting in a lot of work. Take a look at this fine-looking bird:

DSC02972 Bird Pumpkin

The one that got a lot of buzz was this imaginative pumpkin carved to look like mosaic tiles.

DSC02983 Mosaic Pumpkin

On the shelf immediately above it was a pumpkin carved in the style of Van Gogh’s “Starry Nights”, a wonderful Jack-O-Lantern with flame eyes, and a paisley-like floral pattern.

DSC02957 Halloween Pumpkins

Once again I was so impressed with the creativity of the students this year; surely next year’s students can not conceive of new ideas. Or can they?

Flickr set here.


Ruth said...

All the photos didn't load, even waiting a long time (this happens often here, I wonder if there is a way to compress your images/resize them?). Maybe I'll be able to look at Google Reader better - good idea! Nope, I'm back, it didn't load them all either!

They are just fantastic, and I don't want to miss any. I have carved a lot of unusual jack-o-lanterns in my time, and I really appreciate the hard work and enormous talent here. Prof. Kahn sounds like a treasure, and a challenging instructor. And he does his own pumpkin - I'd love to see that!

Marilyn Miller said...

Each pumpkin was truly a work of art. Thanks for sharing.

Relyn Lawson said...

Oh, goodie! I remember this from last year. I was hoping you'd do it again. I have to say, my favorite is that cat. She's wonderful!!

AphotoAday said...

Those are really great...
The cat face, of course, is my favorite...

A Cuban In London said...

Unbelievable designs. They really stand out against the background of your new look, which is fab by the way.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Unknown said...

I saw this fantastic show myself, as I have for the last several years. Unfortunately, this may have been the last show as Professor Kahn may be unable to continue. I heard that his son ran the show this year.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
When I tried to view my post on my iPhone, some of the photos failed to load, but when I returned about a half hour later, it self-healed. I hope you can see them all. I added a link to my flickr set at the end of the post.

Professor Kahn is truly a treasure. When I saw him and his students set up in the afternoon, he referred to the minimalist pumpkin as his.

I bet you are a marvelous pumpkin carver!

Dear Marilyn Miller,
I agree; I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

Dear Relyn,
I wouldn't miss this for the world! I love the cat too! Such a presence!

Dear AphotoAday,
You cartoon characters really stick together :-D

Dear Cuban,
I've been thinking about going with a black background for a few weeks now and I felt this was a good time to finally do it.

Dear Roger,
This is very sad news for me and for the entire community. I hope that someone will continue the tradition, though I'm sure it would not be the same without Professor Kahn's guidance and passion.

Thank you for visiting dutchbaby.

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