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11 Artistic Uses for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

When things get heated at the Thanksgiving dinner table, don't make war. Make food art.
November 27, 2014, 5:45pm


We at The Creators Project love to get our grub on, especially when it's presented with a jolt of modern creativity. From tweeting food sensors to the edible cloud generator, when an artist's stomach becomes their own source of inspiration, we open our eyes, ears—and sometimes even our mouths.

But after multiple stomach-fulls of turkey and green beans, the metric tonne of Thanksgiving leftovers in your fridge can often begin to look more like a painter's palette than a meal. Artist Hannah Rothstein, for example, celebrates this phenomenon with her Thanksgiving Special: How Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Meals, a satisfying series of food sculptures meticulously designed to imitate the imaginary culinary compositions of Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.


Below, find a few more ideas for converting your leftovers from fridge-clogging detritus into eye-catching artworks from some of our favorite creative minds.

Recreate a Fable


Artist and architect Hong Yi presents the tale of the Three Little Pigs, constrcted from spaghetti, sauce, and breadsticks.

Create a Miniature Edible Skatepark


Who knew that potatoes could be so rad? Apparently photographer Benoit Jammes did, since he captured the tuber, along with an assortment of other veggies, grinding and kickflipping all over his counters in his photo series, Skitchen.

Break Out the Old Electron Microscope


No, this isn't a massive green emerald, it's from photographer Caren Alpert's, Terra Cibus, a series made up of microscopic food close-ups. This captivating landscape is a just a humble stalk of celery, so we can't help but wonder how some rugged turkey skin or colorful cranberry sauce would turn out under her zoomed and enhanced gaze.

Turn Your Fruit Punch to 11

With a technique that can also be used with spiced cider (or even gravy!), Bompas & Parr hooked sound systems up to bowls filled with various cocktails to create their project, Chladni Punch Bowl. They blasted tunes through the speakers, visualizing the vibrations through the liquid, just like in Lisa Park's brain wave visualizer or Nigel Stanford's Cymatics.

Construct a Food World for Minatures


Christopher Boffoli's photo set, Big Appetites, captures the tiny antics of minature people, exploring a world where ice cream cone houses and strawberry mines are everyday sites.

Teach Culinary Self-Defense


This pear sits on a pedestal because it knows it's safe from grubby hands, but your green bean casserole may not be so lucky. Take a page out of Kyle Bean's book and stick some self-defense mechanisms in there to make it clear—like in the Forbidden Fruits photoset—who that casserole belongs to.

Gourmet Mouse Traps


Whether it's a statement on modern decadance or just a clever way to ensnare some upper-crust rodents, Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca's Gourmet Mouse Traps are a great use of your last bite of cheesecake…or more likely apple pie.

Sharpen Your Cartography Skills


Fashioning mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and honey glazed ham to conform to the coastline of California is no easy task, but if you follow photographer Henry Hargreave's and food stylist Caitlin Levin's lead, you may just find the inspiration you need to accomplish the task.

Psychoanalyze Yourself

If you see two people screaming at each other in frustration in Fah Lo Suh's Rorschach above, then you've definitely had enough of Thanksgiving for one day. Might we suggest relaxing with our Thanksgiving video playlist?

Become a Master of Disguise


The ultimate way to avoid awkward family interactions is to emulate James Ostrer's WOTSIT ALL ABOUT and smear mashed potatoes all over your face, creating a clever, quick disguise. Simply put, your aunt can't ask you about your career goals if she doesn't recognize you with mashed potatoes on your face.



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