Art Gallery

Ode to Breakfast by Chloe Graffeo

On Being a Guest, and Dumpling Evenings by Leo Racicot

Illustrations and Animation by Alix Marson

Paintings by Malina Syvoravong

Nasturtium in the Kitchen by Cynthia Staples

Watercolors by Sara Zin

Food (De)fetishized by Kelsey Hatch

Fair Trade, Paintings by Allen Forrest

Illustrations by Reneé Leigh Stephenson

Collage by Lisa Mase

Paintings by Allen Forrest

Two Images by Betsy DiJulio

Photography by Aaron Graubart

Patterns by Nicole Sczesny

Jiaozi by Julian Jackson

Fruit Basket by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Natural Intelligence by Besty DiJulio

"Andes" by Claire Ibarra

"America" by Claire Ibarra

Artwork by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

Photography by Bill Brady

Finger Painting by Tammy Ruggles

Artwork by Betsy DiJulio

Food Illustrations by Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Vegetable Papyrus by I. Batsheva

Photographs by Louise Fabiani

Photographs by Martha Clarkson and Jim Carpenter

Food Stylings by Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Eating Alone by Jeannette Ferrary

Illustrations by Tom Bingham

Schiciatta d'Uva by LeAnne Thomas

The Four Seasons by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Epicurious Potato Heads by Natasha Bacca

Paintings by Cynthia Tollefsrud

Photographs by Eleanor Bennett

Illustrations by Brooke Albrecht

Photographs by Cynthia Staples

Mutatoes by Uli Westphal

Alice Brock

Damon Belanger

Louis Dunn

Stéphanie Kilgast

Mark Kurlansky

Marilyn Murphy

Nina Talbot

Alice Brock

Introduced by Rebecca Gummere


Blast from the Past: Alice Brock is Still Cookin’

Alice Brock is better known to many as the “Alice” in Arlo Guthrie’s iconic sixties hit song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” But few know of how the former restaurateur has interwoven her love of food and cooking with her lifelong passion for art.

“My father was in the silk-screen business and he gave me a silk-screen set up,” Alice says, sharing that she learned early on to play with color, using a squeegee to create backgrounds with poured paint. It’s a technique she still uses, evidenced in her “Two Sisters” painting.

She paid more attention to the art around her home than most children. “I started drawing before I even knew language.” Alice is quiet for a moment, then adds, “It is my language.”

Alice, who confesses she has no formal art training, describes her influences: “Picasso, Thurber. The Impressionists,” she says, listing them with a certain breeziness, as if they are old pals. She especially enjoys creating line drawings, describing herself as a “serial painter,” who likes to explore the myriad possibilities of a theme. “Once is never enough. I think, ‘What about this or that?’ It’s probably from smoking too much marijuana,” she laughs.

Alice begins with a vague idea. “Okay. Forks and spaghetti. Then I say, ‘Eh. I’ll try it.’ I give everything a personality – an eggplant or a carrot. I do lots of sketches. You’d be surprised how much preparation goes into it. A lot of the drawings are better than the paintings because they’re more spontaneous. I just go with the shapes, the emotions and personalities in the shapes.”

Her beach stones, begun on a whim, are wildly popular. “I can barely keep up with the demand,” she admits. Alice started doing the beach stones in her early twenties, painting them and then throwing them back in the water. “People said I shouldn’t do that,” she says, “so I started throwing them above the tide line. I never wanted to sell them. I thought they should be ‘found.’ But a gallery owner I knew wanted them so badly, so I agreed to let him sell them. I told him not to charge too much, but he sold them for more than I do now!” Alice decided she should be the one to sell her stones and also to start framing her paintings, so she took her budding art career into her own hands.

Alice’s numerous fans are on a sort of counterculture mission with the stones, placing them, often surreptitiously, in places such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art. One person sent her a picture of himself throwing a beach stone over the Great Wall of China. Another, a middle-aged woman, spoke with Alice as she was preparing to sail around the world solo in a thirty-foot sailboat. When Alice heard of her planned journey, she advised, “Well, you’d better take some of these and spread them around,” giving the woman several of the beach stones. The woman sent back a picture of one she left on a remote island in the South Seas. “There was a grass hut where fishermen would stop over, and she put one of the stones at the entrance to the hut.”

Alice describes early challenges as a young artist. “The teacher would come and draw right on my drawings!” She still sounds shocked at the thought. “I don’t like people telling me what to do, and that was not okay! Boy!”

Speaking of the necessary freedom involved in the creative process, she says, “What you get to make up, to discover – that’s fun! The act of painting – it’s like a religious experience. You feel like someone else is moving your hand, forces moving through you. You’re a conduit. It’s a blessing – I think most artists would say, it’s just kind of magical.”

Alice, while still enamored of food, doesn’t cook much anymore, the emphysema that plagues her slowing her down. When she does cook, it’s an all-day affair. “I’ll do a tomato sauce or a lamb stew or bean soup.” She also confesses to being a meat-eater, which is a habit she tempers with “lots of kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach.”

What new art is on the horizon for Alice? “I have a lot of drawings I want to turn into paintings. Things that go on in the kitchen, such as plates crawling up the wall and forks flying out a window.” One wonders just exactly what goes on in Alice Brock’s kitchen.

Alice has written several books, How to Massage Your Cat and two out of print works, My Life as a Restaurant, and Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook. (She and Arlo Guthrie also collaborated on a children’s book, Mooses Come Walking, with Guthrie writing the story and Alice creating the illustrations.)

On her decision to move to Provincetown those many years ago, Alice says, “Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to live here and paint pictures. Other people have plans and programs. They have a five-year plan. Maybe that works for them. I just leap before I look.”

Alice offers this advice on the adventure of life: “Do what you love, then everything is easy and all seems to fall into place. Go for it! Just take the chance. You know, I’m coming to find life is a lot shorter than we think it is.”

Alice welcomes visitors to her gallery at 69 Commercial Street in Provincetown. Email her at alicebrock@yahoo.com. Her work is also available at www.alicebrock.com.