As artists Elaine Mamary, Linda Ippolito and Madeline Sorel navigated Purple Yam Sunday afternoon, laughing with neighbors over soju cocktails as they looked at the new explosion of color on the Filipino restaurant’s brick walls, it was no wonder that Purple Yam’s chef and owner, Romy Dorotan, called the art exhibit’s opening a symbiotic experience that celebrated the close-knit community born from food and art.
“I love their theme about pastures — it reminds you of the beauty of nature, which reflects what this restaurant is about,” Romy said of the art exhibit, “Pastures and Pleasures,” which had its official opening on Sunday afternoon. “We love going to the market, supporting organic farming — there’s that theme, with the art and the food; I love that.”
Many others seemed to love that as well, with neighbors packing Purple Yam for the opening of an art exhibit that features photos from Elaine, a Ditmas Park resident; paintings by Linda, who grew up on Stratford Road between Church and Caton Avenues and now resides in Montclair, New Jersey; and felt pieces by Madeline, a longtime friend of Elaine’s who lives in Manhattan Beach.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Elaine, who has for decades worked in the city’s culinary world but is now hoping to focus much of her life on her longtime passion — art. “It brings people together, and it’s more exposure for the restaurant. Plus, it got me out of creative hibernation!”
Linda, whose parents lived on Stratford Road for 50 years and whose father was a community activist who worked with former Borough President Marty Markowitz in his early political life, said it was particularly poignant for her to be able to show her works in the community where she grew up.
“It’s great art and great food — you can’t go wrong with that,” smiled Linda, who attended Ditmas Junior High School and John Dewey High School — and can remember when a Mr. Murphy would regularly come with a horse and a cart to give the neighborhood children rides around the community.
“I’d get picked up on Stratford Road, and he’d come this way to Albemarle Road and turn around — that was the nickel run,” she laughed.
With all of the art pieces at Purple Yam boasting incredible colors, from Elaine’s photo of lily pads at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to Linda’s Mediterranean-inspired paintings and Madeline’s Nuno felt (which are felt creations that come from interweaving wool fiber straight from the sheep into silk), Madeline noted the exhibit was one big celebration of the winter’s departure.
“We’re expressing joy that it’s spring,” she said. “We have a lot of nature, a lot of landscapes.”
The art show is ongoing at Purple Yam, located at 1314 Cortelyou Road, and each of the pieces are available for purchase. Neighbors can see the prices and detailed descriptions of each available work in a binder at the restaurant. For more information and to get in touch with the artists, you can visit the websites of Elaine, Linda and Madeline.
Many congratulations to all the artists! And to our neighbors who’ve seen the beautiful pieces, we’re looking forward to hearing what you loved about them.