PARIS: It is often said that baking is an art form. And the Blanton Museum in Austin, Texas, certainly seems to agree, as the institution holds an annual baking competition.
For the occasion, amateur and professional cooks are asked to create cakes inspired by its vast art collection.
Texas bakers were able to find inspiration among the museum’s 21,000 works of art. Some chose to recreate ancient pottery, while others chose to recreate Renaissance drawings or contemporary paintings.
They had until May 15 to make a cake inspired by the Blanton Museum’s collection, and to post their creation on social media with the hashtag #BlantonBakeOff and the @blantonmuseum handle.
Internet users chose a winner in three categories: amateur bakers, professionals and under 18s.
Blythe Johnson took first place in the amateur category with a cake inspired by Mac Wells’ “Untitled.” It is composed of several layers of almond and blueberry sponge cake, accompanied by lemon curd and whipped cream.
The cook worked for two weeks on her creation to perfectly reproduce the matte colours of Mac Wells’ painting. “The colours of the painting made me think of blueberry and almond, and the rest just fell into place after that,” she told the Smithsonian Magazine.
This is the second year in a row that the 40-year-old has won the Blanton Museum baking competition in the amateur category.
Georgia Chido won for the first time in the under 18s category. The 15-year-old won with a gluten-free vanilla cake with chocolate topping. This very colourful creation was inspired by a textile work by the Venezuelan artist, Luis Montiel.
The “Great Blanton Bake-Off” first came about at the beginning of the pandemic as the brainchild of Lizabel Stella, the Blanton Museum’s social media and digital content manager.
At the time, the museum had been closed for several months and was looking for ways to maintain a connection with its audience.
“I was thinking, people can’t come to the museum, and people love baking. How can I blend these together?” Lizabel Stella is quoted as saying in the Smithsonian Magazine.
While the Blanton Museum is banking on baking as a way to get people interested in its art collection, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is riding on the Wordle craze. It has developed its own version of the hit online game, called Artle.
Players have four attempts to guess the name of one of the 15,952 artists whose works are on display at the National Gallery of Art.
They have visual clues to help them make their choice. And, according to BBC journalist Leisha Chi-Santorelli, “it’s much tougher than #wordle!”