gourd art cat

Gourd cats of all shapes, sizes, and colors tumbled from delivery trucks hoping to win first place in Cool Cat Gourd competition. It was hosted in Sugar Loaf, NY (www.sugarloafnychamber.com) by Devon Cameron, award-winning artist and owner of The Gourd Gallery (www.gourdaments.com). The event took place on Oct. 7, 8, and 9 during the artisan community’s Fall Festival. The winners were chosen democratically by over 500 Festival attendees.

“First I was amazed at the response to my call for participants, which appeared on the American Gourd Society website and some state gourd society publications. Gourd artists from Texas, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Maine, Tennessee, and New York participated. Then I was delighted as the Cool Cats arrived. Each was brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed. Finally, I was pleased that so many passers by voted….All in all, this was a most successful contest. And best of all, the contestants are now on sale at The Gourd Gallery.”

First place went to Cloe, a winsome grey domestic from Tennessee. Her creator, Lois Wiser, states: “I…glued a small gourd on a dipper gourd and sculpted the face and ears. I had a lot of fun seeing the cat’s expression come alive.”

Alpha, a pure white kitty with one blue eye and one green, won second. Artist A. F. Reinhart reports that her sister-in-law gave her a white kitten with one blue and one green eye a month after she began work on Alpha. “She knew nothing about this ‘gourd’ cat…Greater forces at work!”

Cally-Alley Cat, a calico tabby, took third. Myrtis McClenny from Texas describes her entry as “prissy.” “The calico cat next door is the model.” Myrtis’s own tabby, Willis, lies on the table beside the gourd cat, occasionally taking an interest and giving it a sniff.

“All the entries were wonderful,” Devon exclaims. “We have Sir Julius Fionius, an orange tabby from Nancy Overmyer in Kansas; a contemporary mask from Ann Light featuring three cats; Tilly, a tabby submitted by local artist Debbie Siew, is a mouser unaware of the gourd mouse riding his tail; Jewell, a very large, ornate kitty covered with pearls, hails from Ohio and the imagination of Gayla Smith. Marilyn Tedesco grew her entry, Vegas, on her Maine farm. And Baby Beans by Jane Weller of Ohio has a happy ‘Cattitude’ and a purpose in life—her hollow belly can be used to serve up jelly beans.”

When asked if she would consider making the Cool Cat Gourd Contest an annual event, Devon nodded vigorously. “Absolutely. This was great fun.”

All entries can be seen at The Gourd Gallery, 1364 Kings Highway

Sugar Loaf, NY 10981. (845) 469-5090.

Author Information

Devon Cameron
The Gourd Gallery