The STL250 Birthday Cakes Public Art event celebrated the 250th Birthday of the City of St. Louis. As a brand new artist and resident in the city of STL and community, I was pleased to submit designs for this juried project and to participate in a unique creative celebration. I had never participated in an exhibition of this nature prior to this time because I was concentrating on my 2D art works exclusively. I considered working in the new medium of painted fiberglass to be a risk, but as many artists will tell you...risk taking is an important part of the creative process and this was a "fun" one. I thought it was a creative adventure from start to finish! I painted the Cakes in the STL250 "Cakeshop" which was a very large empty cold enclosed parking space below an office building alongside many of the other artists who also received commissions. We enjoyed daily chats and an exchange on creative ideas. The sense of "artist camaraderie" still is my favorite memory from the cake commission. The best day was when my youngest son also helped me paint Lady Bug Cake on a school snow day.
I submitted four designs on paper which were approved by the STL250 Committee. My Cakes, titled, Ladybug Cake © 2014, Cardinal Cake © 2014, Raven Cake © 2014, and Landscape Cake © 2014 were installed around the city at the offices of Mayor Alvin Parks, Jr at the front of the East St. Louis Municipal Building, The Pere Marquette Historic Lodge at Pere Marquette State Park, in front of Busch Stadium home of the STL Cardinals, and Jefferson Barracks Trail Head at Historic Jefferson Barracks, STL, Missouri, USA. The Cardinals selected their cake from the array of available designs. I was notified of their cake selection via a text message by a STL250 project coordinator. Cardinals team president asked if I was willing to put their team logo and the "Birds on the Bat" logo on the Cardinal Cake © 2014 Katherine Nelson Art and I was delighted to customize the red bird cake to fit their request. I met their stadium manager and a STL250 coordinator on the day the cake was delivered to Busch Stadium. * Design notes: The "Cardinal Cake" originally started out in my studio on paper as design plan for a chicken cake and within it's completion on paper I had an inspired moment realizing that theme was indeed all wrong for St. Louis. I guess I was bringing my love of raising chickens in WA into the picture too literally. So the original design went from a cute farm Barred Rock Chicken cake (on paper) to the new design as a red Cardinal Cake in 3D (with prior approval), of course! After all, I do love songbirds and Cardinals are everywhere in STL.
The Cake Celebration was a photographic "treasure hunt" to encourage the exploration of St. Louis. Prizes were awarded to cake photo collectors and events were organized around the celebration by enthusiastic "cakers". A book and a documentary film are due out on the project soon.
Coincidently, I celebrated my 50th birthday on the 250th Birthday of the City of St. Louis and that factored in to my decision to submit designs for this juried event because I simply thought it would be fun to "mark making it over the '50th birthday hill' " by creating ART for the STL250 City Celebration and residents of STL. Most people go for an epic tour someplace on their big birthdays...I opted for making cakes! Cakes Are Popping Up All Over !