RipOff Artists “Stick It” to American Gothic

“All the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow,” declared Grant Wood whose American Gothic painting of the dour-faced pitchfork wielding farmer and his sister is famous worldwide.  Wood’s masterpiece became a national symbol; a vision of hope during the Depression that still resonates today. “Because American Gothic is so iconic, it was the perfect mark for this year’s RipOff challenge,” raves fiber artist, Terry Irvine.

This July the RipOff Artists stick it to American Gothic at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver, BC. This multi-media collective includes artists working in fibre (quilting, felting, weaving), photography, mixed media collage, oils and acrylics, 3-D installations, and encaustic (hot beeswax).  For the fifth year in a row, this nefarious group has dared to take on the grand masters of art. To mark such an auspicious occasion, they added a twist to the proceedings. Each artist has chosen another artist through which to interpret American Gothic. It’s double the ripoff and double the fun!

The public is welcome to watch the RipOff Artists assume the styles of  Picasso, Klimt, and Degas, along with seven other famous artists, and reinterpret Wood.  

American Gothic Challenge
Monday July 4 – Saturday July 9
Opening Reception:
Monday July 4, 
6 – 8 pm
Daily Hours:
Tuesday July 5 – Saturday July 9
9 am to 3 pm 

You are encouraged to come frequently during the week to get a true sense of how their artwork progresses from rough idea to finished creation.  Be sure to see the completed project on the Saturday! It will be left to you to decide: Is Wood’s masterpiece a celebration of America’s stoic determination during the Depression? Or is the finished product a critique of those same American values? Come view the action and decide for yourself.

Incidentally, the treasures from the four previous “RipOff raids” are currently on display at Leir House Cultural Centre in Penticton until June 23. You can view their “stolen” interpretations of Gustav Klimt’s Emilie Floge, Goergia O’Keeffe’s Pink Tulip, Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Cypresses, and Lawren Harris’ Mount Lefroy in a variety of artistic media.

For more information about the RipOff Artists, click on their link under “Member Groups” in the column at right.  Or use the search bar on our website (type in “RipOffs”) for photos and articles from their past shows.