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

Natural Intelligence: Mushrooms

by Betsy DiJulio

Alimentum is delighted to feature the complex and rich art of Betsy DiJulio. By way of introducing Natural Intelligence, Betsy writes:

I created this series during a week-long summer graduate course on teaching AP Studio Art at Towson College, Towson, MD. The assignment was to create a 12-piece “Concentration” as a set of Artist Trading Cards. An NPR radio interview with Paul Stamets, a mycologist and specialist on “natural intelligence” within the fungal world—particularly mycelia—en route to MD provided my inspiration. Each piece is directly related to a provocative point in the interview.

Because time was compressed, I photocopied pages from my sketchbook and cut them into 2.5 x 3.5” rectangles to use as prepared grounds with established color harmonies, matching each background to an idea from my notes with which it seemed to have a particular resonance. For the purposes of drawing recognizable and familiar forms, Stamets mycelia became mushrooms, the fruit of the mycelia, in my interpretation.

The concepts behind each piece are Stamets’ assertions as follows: “Breaking Bonds”—fungi, the “grand dis-assemblers,” can break apart hydrogen-carbon bonds ; “Family Tree,” “R/EVOLUTION,” and “R U My Mother?”—animals and plants both descended from protists; “Overground-Undergound”—humans took an overground route while fungi took an underground route in their evolution; “Digestion”—one of the big differences between animals and fungi is that the former have stomachs on the inside + fungi can convert rocks to minerals used by other species; “Elected Voice of the Microbes”—Stamets’ quasi tongue-in-cheek reference to himself; “Foot”— networks of mycelia know when they are trod upon; “Mushroom Respiration” —fungi breathe more like humans than like other plants, taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide; “Natural Intelligence”— when a food source falls on the mycelia, they “reach up to grab it;” “Stem”— a visual comparison between a human brain and a morel mushroom; and “What’s Your IQ?”—general notion of natural intelligence.

Natural Intelligence: Mushrooms, July 2013, 2.5 x 3.5” each
Black ballpoint pen, letter/number stamps and black stamp pad, white acrylic, graphite, and colored pencil on color photocopies of artist’s sketchbook pages

Breaking Bonds

Family Tree


R U My Mother?



Elected Voice of the Microbes


Mushroom Respiration

Natural Intelligence


What’s Your IQ

Betsy DiJulio, M.A., Ed.S., is an award-winning artist and National Board Certified high school art teacher (Teacher of the Year, VA Beach City Public Schools, 2010), vegan cookbook author (The Blooming Platter: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes, Vegan Heritage Press, 2011), blogger (, and freelance writer for both local and national publications on topics of art/art education, home and garden design, vegan cooking, green initiatives, and small business. Betsy and her husband Joe share their home with a pair of beloved Great Danes in VA Beach, VA. A fitness fanatic, when Betsy is not walking the couple’s dogs, she can be found in downward dog on her yoga mat.