Edible exhibit to be featured in 2014 Art Prize

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It’s that time of year again in Grand Rapids; as the weather cools down, the popular competition ArtPrize is ramping up. People from all over will be flocking into Grand Rapids to see thousands of art submissions throughout the city. This year, one entry may leave onlookers salivating.

Jamie Springer, “pinky queen of cakes,” is a local culinary artist and roller derby enthusiast operating out of Skywalk Deli on Monroe Avenue. Her hope is to open a storefront in the future. By adding “first artist to enter a culinary piece of art in ArtPrize 2014” to her already extensive list of awards, including 2012 Felt Cupcake Wars Champion, she is optimistic this will happen sometime soon.

“I want people to understand that what I’m doing is art,” said Springer. “I have a passion for it, a respect. Grand Rapids was named Beer City USA this year, and people have come to see this business as a craft, an art. The same goes for what I do. I’ve done everything in the culinary world, from being a dishwasher to pastry chef. People pay a lot of money to go to culinary school. It’s not just a pastime, and there are so many incredibly talented chefs and bakers right here in Grand Rapids.”

Springer was surprised no one had tried to enter an edible piece of art in the previous five years of ArtPrize:

“I’ve seen magnificent ice sculptures in the past years. I guess those are edible, but wouldn’t you rather have sugar?”

Since there is no culinary art category, she will be entering her creation under the 3-D category. In order to last the 19-day competition, the cake itself will not be edible, but “everything visual will be edible,” Springer reassured. “Even the things that won’t look like it. There’s wood, glass, paper, brass, flowers, all of it made with a variety of sugar sculpting techniques.”

The cake will stand over four feet tall and will have a cultural theme.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a traditional wedding cake, but it’s not totally out-of-the-box either. It won’t be white, but will be along a wedding theme. There will be symbols for things like happiness, good luck and unity within the culture. Some things might seem a little out of place or crazy, especially if you don’t know much about the culture I chose.”

Springer is keeping that specific culture’s identity a secret to maintain some mystery surrounding her art.

This piece will be pleasing not only to the eyes but to the taste buds as well. On Thursday, Oct. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., Monroe Community Church will be hosting “A Taste of Monroe,” where ArtPrize visitors will be able to enjoy a “taste” at each site and mingle with the artists.

The queen of cakes will be offering her samples on this night, and you can like her Facebook page, “Bakery 73/Pinky Queen of Cakes,” to find out when more samples will be handed out.

Springer wants people to “appreciate good art and good food this ArtPrize.” She hopes her creation will help people do just that.