Edible art sculptures, about a baker’s dozen of them, filled the Arlington Museum of Art on Saturday night while the pastry chefs who created them mingled with local art and cake lovers.
The Eat Your Art Out fundraiser, which provided cake samples and Champagne to ticket-holders, is a popular event, museum director Chris Hightower says, and it gives the bakers a chance to mix with the people.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he says.
Here are some of the sweet sculptures on display.
Dewey Girl’s Sweets
Lyndsey Dewey, who has two NCAA National Football Championship rings, was a pastry chef at Super Bowl XLV. The 28-year-old also loves the Muppets, which inspired her to sculpt the Swedish Chef she brought to Eat Your Art Out.
“I really like doing cartoonlike cakes,” she says, adding that she thought the design would be fun for this year’s theme.
Dewey’s chef was constructed of cake, she says, except for his Rice Krispies head, which kept the edible sculpture from becoming too heavy and difficult to move. The vegetables were also created from Rice Krispies, and the chicken was made of buttercream-iced cake covered in fondant.
“I took my gloves and just kind of stuck it on there like a popcorn ceiling kind of thing,” she says. “So I did that, and that’s his feathers.”
Dewey says her mother made wedding cakes, so she began baking cakes in middle school. During her freshman year, she made three graduation cakes. After going to junior college for athletic training, she attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Dallas.
Dewey says she enjoys baking, which she does, for the most part, in her spare time.
“If ever there’s any stress or anything going on in my life, baking is what I like to do,” she says. “All my friends know there are always cookies or cakes ready to buy.”
A flowering green cactus cake sat atop a white linen tablecloth near the Eat Your Art Out exhibit entrance. The confection, which had prickly arms that seemed to wave “howdy,” was covered in ribbed, star-studded icing and bedecked with colorful roses and tiny rosebuds.
“They have some really creative people there at Whole Foods,” says museum volunteer Cathy Stein, who was busy greeting museum guests. Stein says there were two sculptures during the exhibit that she really enjoyed feasting her eyes upon, and the Whole Foods cactus was one of them.
Piled high on a salad with radishes, tomatoes and cheese were a double bacon cheeseburger and a slice of pepperoni pizza with jalapeños. Some strategically stacked confections in tortilla chip form sat on top.
“I feel like it’s my social commentary on dieting,” Katie Kennedy says of her multilevel sculpture in this year’s Eat Your Heart Art exhibit. “We would all eat more salads if it had hamburger and pizza on them.”
After moving her business from Southlake, the classically trained baker, a former executive pastry chef for the Dallas Cowboys, opened The Cakery in Arlington, where she lives, last year.
“I must say the hamburger exhibit is so artistic and so different,” said Victoria Farrar-Myers, an Arlington City Council member who attended the show. “The hamburger took her eight hours.”
Dia De Los Cupcakes
Bianca Gutierrez blended her passion for baking with her Mexican-American heritage in a multitiered display of vanilla caramel churro cupcakes, chocolate raspberry liqueur cake and s’mores cupcakes topped with a hollow-eyed skeletal sculpture wearing a dramatic red gown.
The entry was deemed most creative at the show.
“I like to go to the extremes, do something different,” Gutierrez says. “And I’m super proud of my heritage and my background, so I try to bring it out as much as possible.”
The self-taught home baker from North Richland Hills says that includes incorporating flavors she remembers from her childhood.
Gutierrez, a mother of two, baked her son a character cake for his first birthday more than 10 years ago. She says it was so much fun that she kept on baking and officially launched her business about seven months ago.
“I put all my heart and soul into everything I do,” she says. “I don’t hire any assistants. Everything I do has that individual touch of mine.”
Sweets by Belinda
Belinda Rodella created a purple dress cake with fondant icing and a bodice trimmed in Rice Krispies.
“I actually wanted to do something fun and flirty,” she says, but she was a bit nervous while driving her masterpiece to the exhibit.
“It was swaying in the car,” she says. “I was worried just a little.”
Rodella made her first cake after a friend asked her to take a cake decorating class. Now, the South Arlington home-based baker can’t imagine life without cake.
“I can do it all,” she says. “I bake it. I decorate it. I deliver it.”
Rodella, who says her sister helps with cutting, deliveries and moral support, has been baking cupcakes, cakes, cake pops and cookies for about 12 years.
That’s the Cake Bakery
A candy-colored unicorn sat among the exhibit’s creations. That’s the Cake, a family-owned bakery, presented the colorful sculpture.
According to its website, the bakery, which specializes in everything from sheet cakes to sculpted 3-D cakes, began in Lewisville in 2009 and has since relocated to Arlington near AT&T Stadium and Six Flags.
“We believe that the cake is an expression of the event for which the cake was made,” according to the bakery's website. “We make each cake by hand using only the finest of ingredients.”
Nothing Bundt Cakes
This North Arlington bakery had a festive display of mini bundt cakes embellished with sparkly silver and gold toppers.
“Our tower of bundtini makes an impression,” says store manager Rebekah Moody. “They’re great for parties.”
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Moody says although the stacked desserts are simple, they’re visually appealing and the design is easy to re-create. The mini sweets come in a variety of flavors, including red velvet.
That cake’s “scarlet batter of velvety, rich cocoa and buttermilk pays homage to its traditional Southern heritage,” according to the brand’s website. “Every vibrant, red cake dances with chocolate chips and is topped with our signature, cream cheese frosting.”
Moody says the event is a great way to meet new people while sharing the fairly new Nothing Bundt Cakes location at Collins Street and Lamar Boulevard.
“We love being a part of the community,” she says.