Chocolate Lithium Ice Cream by David Sollie. Mixed media on canvas, 30” x 33”. As with the image in our previous episode, This work was originally presented in a solo exhibition of Mr. Sollie’s work, called “Everybody Wins!”. The show was presented at SooVAC gallery in Minneapolis in December of 2011 and January of 2012, and was another event featuring Mr. Sollie’s ongoing investigations of the history and culture of the Shackway corporation. The Shackway corporation was started just after the Second World War by Mr. Sollie’s grandfather, entrepreneur Bruce Milburn.
Chocolate Lithium Ice Cream, along with similar products, was heavily marketed by the Shackway Corporation to group homes, sanitoriums, sanitariums, private clinics and green rooms of music venues throughout the American south and west, through most of the 1960’s. The idea started with an inkling that it might be a good idea to make pharmacology delicious. It was an idea that was clearly part of the spirit of the times, as evidenced by the “spoon full of sugar” song sung by Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney movie “Mary Poppins”.
The Shackway Corporation (and Shackway founder, entrepreneur Bruce Milburn) held strong belief in the powers of niche marketing. The idea is that it is easiest to corner a market for something by preparing for one before there is ever a demand for it.
The photograph of the original work on canvas was taken by Rik Sferra. Thanks, Rik! Thanks, SooVAC Gallery in Minneapolis, MN! The exhibition at SooVAC was presented in cooperation with Bockley Gallery, also in Minneapolis, MN. Thanks, Bockley Gallery!