Long-forgotten artist inspires Danielle Ate the Sandwich album

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<p>(Image&nbsp;© Edith Lake Wilkinson. Courtesy of Jane Anderson.)</p>

Danielle Ate the SandwichFort Collins-based singer-songwriter Danielle Anderson is better known as Danielle Ate the Sandwich. Her latest album is a soundtrack to a documentary about a little-known American artist, Edith Lake Wilkinson. The film is called “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson” and will air later this year on HBO. However, Anderson’s album, “The Drawing Back of Curtains,” is out now.

Wilkinson was born in 1868 and was part of the thriving art community in Provincetown, Mass. But in 1924, she was committed to an insane asylum. Her artwork -- drawings, paintings, and prints -- and her possessions were packed into a trunk and shipped off to her nephew in West Virginia, where they sat in an attic for the next 40 years. Wilkinson was never heard from again and died in 1957 at the age of 89.

“I had no idea how to jump into a project like this,” Anderson says. “It wasn’t something I’d done before.” She felt a certain responsibility “to match the importance of Edith’s story with my silly songs.”

Anderson steeped herself in Wilkinson’s biography and artwork, and she even wrote letters addressed to the artist in an attempt to “get into her head” before writing music.

“I told her about my personal and professional life, and I asked her questions,” Anderson recalls. “One of the questions I asked was, ‘Is this OK with you? That we’re making a documentary about your life?’ ”

The process helped Anderson establish a kind of metaphysical connection with the artist.

“I’m spiritual enough that I would be writing a song, and something would happen, like I’d hear a noise in the room, and I’d stop and say, ‘Edith? Is that you?’ ”

Anderson will perform songs from “The Drawing Back of Curtains” at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, in Boulder, on Sunday, March 1, at 7 p.m.