Artist Chester Arnold and poet Bart Schneider present their book, "Daily Feast"
Artist Chester Arnold and poet Bart Schneider will be at Readers' Books on Wednesday, February 22nd to discuss their collaboration, "Daily Feast". There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6:00 p.m. "The Daily Feast" is the fruit of a joyous collaboration between old friends, Sonoma painter Chester Arnold and Berkeley poet Bart Schneider. In the midst of the pandemic lockdown, unable to meet at their usual lunch spot, they decided to make a book entirely focused on food and drink. Arnold brings his wit and old master fidelity to droll paintings of TV dinners, oysters on the half shell, and pineapple upside-down cakes. Schneider's riffs on garlic, gefilte fish, and Green Goddess dressing are both personal and imaginative. This series of conversations across disciplines involves the heady vapors of kitchens, as well as lush meals enjoyed at a variety of tables. The book opens like a restaurant you've always hoped to go to and offers beguiling choices for each course.
"Daily Feast" is a tightly curated conversation between two artists who are masters of their separate disciplines celebrating the everyday joy of food and company. The art born out of the longing for human connection denied during the height of the pandemic reminds the reader that art, like friendship and food, provides solace in difficult times.
Chester describes their work as "the result of two adventurous appetites for both culinary and reflective experience…In this, the works painted reflected the written experience remembered, filling the mind with the heady vapors of many kitchens and tables. In return, my own memories in paint inspired new poems. The book became a series of conversations across disciplines, illuminating a world of thought and reflection on what is on the table, if one is fortunate enough, three times a day." Bart remarks that "this project seemed the perfect antidote to the deprivations of the last couple of years…We were less interested in illustrating or describing each other's work than in responding with our associations and curiosities."
Chester Arnold is an accomplished painter whose work may be seen in private and public collections including those of the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the San Jose Museum of Art, where a significant body of his work resides. A life-long partist, Arnold trained in the European tradition of representation. His work often features large-scale narratives told in a quirky, but intense and richly imaginative craftsmanship, woven with visual metaphor. Sonoma has been his home for the past three decades.
Bart Schneider was born and raised in San Francisco. His love for poetry, which he discovered while attending George Washington High, brought him to a life of literary pursuit: from working at the Playwright's Center in the Twin Cities, to founding and editing the book and culture magazine Hungry Mind Review, and publishing five novels, including Blue Bossa, a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Secret Love, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In 2009, after returning to the Bay Area, he founded Kelly Cove Press with Catherine Duand. To date the press has published twenty books featuring literature and art by California writers and artists.