DUBLIN – For 28 years, artist Jeanette Paras has captured the cultural zeitgeist – defined as the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of a time – through more than 80 giant celebrity pumpkin creations that have included presidents, politicians, entertainers, athletes and more.
That climate in 2016 is best represented by the two major party Presidential candidates – plus one meddling ‘frenemy.’ Paras has created the Putkin (341 lbs.), the Clintkin (145 lbs) and the Trumpkin (133 lbs). The largest of the pumpkins was grown by Tim Tootle of Stoutsville, Ohio while the other two were provided by the Gose Pumpkin Patch of Circleville, Ohio.
“The subjects of my giant celebrity are almost self-selected each year by being in the news every day and as the perpetual topic of conversation,” said Paras. “Because this is an election year, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are natural choices. But Vladimir Putin and Russia have been wild cards in this whole thing. I couldn’t overlook that fact.”
Paras’ giant celebrity pumpkins typically range from 200 to 400 pounds but she has worked on pumpkins as large as 1,200 pounds – the subject was ‘Carol’ from Where the Wild Things Are, created for the residence of then-Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. And her creations – particularly Kim Jung Un in 2015 and the Trumpkin in 2016 – have attracted national and international media attention on CNN, NBC Nightly News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, Gawker and many other outlets.
“Honestly, it’s a lot of fun to do this every year. I do it for the reactions I get from my neighbors and people who stop by our house,” added Paras, who lives in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. “People stop me on the street to offer suggestions about who should be pumpkinized and they sneak notes into our mailbox too. People come by to take pictures and now even the media is caught up in the suspense of who gets ‘pumpkinized.’ Everyone loves giant celebrity pumpkins!”
Recently, Paras launched a website that chronicles her giant celebrity pumpkins and in the hope of using her creations as a fundraiser for breast cancer treatment and to increase breast cancer awareness. Paras is a two-time breast cancer survivor.
For more information, please visit: www.ParasPumpkins.com