Host Your Own Kusama-Inspired Thanksgiving. Your Family will be #InfinitelyGrateful.

If your Turkey Day plans are feeling uninspired, get some fresh ideas from Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the High Museum.

Thanksgiving is officially one week away. As you plan out your dishes and explore recipes, you’ll notice that the pumpkin spice craze is at its seasonal peak. All things pumpkin abound — lattes, candles, pies, breads, and much weirder products that I’ll omit.

If your blood runs orange with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg but you’re tired of your friends calling you #basic, I may have a solution:

Kabocha squash!

They’re beautiful, delicious, easy to prepare — AND — they offer the appeal of a pumpkin without the derogatory hashtag.

Take it from artist Yayoi Kusama, whose memories of the kabocha squash from her family’s nursery are the basis for her Infinity Mirror Room All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, opening November 18 at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Although the English title for the room is All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, it actually features the kabocha squash, a popular ingredient in Japanese cooking.

Why does Kusama love kabocha?

The humble green squash made an impression on Kusama when she was a little girl. She grew up on her family’s wholesale plant seed nursery in Matsumoto, Japan, and she became familiar with the squash out in the fields. The artist said, “I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness.”

Kabocha in a field and a Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin on Naoshima Island

She also enjoys the kabocha’s “humorous form, warm feeling, and a human-like quality.” She has created countless works featuring the squash, and she says her “desire to create works of pumpkins still continues.”

Create Your Own Kusama-Inspired, Kabocha-Filled Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you’re coming to the High to see Infinity Mirrors with family, volunteering at a food kitchen, or enjoying the laughter and company of friends, we hope your day is brimming with #InfiniteThanks for the important things in life.

Read on for tablescape inspiration, kabocha recipes, and Kusama-themed crafts.

Set the Table

For a fun Kusama-themed spread, explore the High Museum Shop’s official Kusama merchandise. Mix and match, layer, and get creative!

The table pictured here features the following products:

Kusama Tea Towels, $22: Use them as napkins, placemats, or bread basket liners.

Kusama Buttons, $1: Pin them onto place cards, scatter them on the table, or give them to guests in a goodie bag!

Kusama Coasters, $24 for 4: Use as a coaster or a decorative element.

Explore our other Kusama products at the High Museum Shop (some products are available online, too).

For a variation, try writing on paper circles of varying sizes. Poke a hole through the top of each circle and string them into a garland. Or, tape them all to a wall for a bold family photo backdrop.

Upcoming Kusama and Thanksgiving Events

Nov. 23 Day After Thanksgiving

Nov. 29 TALK: Mika Yoshitake on Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Dec. 13 Behind the Lens: Kusama Fim Screening

Jan. 12 Yayoi Kusama: Art, Stories, and Book-Signing with Ellen Weinstein

Jan 19–Feb 16 Learning to Look: Beyond the Polka Dot (5 class series)

If you’re still looking for tickets to the Kusama exhibition, 100 same-day tickets will be sold onsite daily beginning November 18. Find out more on the Infinity Mirrors FAQ page.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art