Three Rivers Arts Festival Takes the Cake

By Welzel, Karin | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

Three Rivers Arts Festival Takes the Cake


Welzel, Karin, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Visitors to the Three Rivers Arts Festival can have their cake -- and eat some later.

"Icing on the Cake" is a non-juried visual arts presentation created by members of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. The "cakes" -- made of any media (spackling, ceramics or paints, for example) except real cake or perishables -- are on display at the PPG Place Wintergarden, Downtown, says Lauren Bracey, a spokeswoman for the annual festival. The artists were challenged to create an artwork with cake -- in honor of Pittsburgh's 250th birthday -- as an integral part of the pieces. The works were limited to no larger than 18 by 18 by 18 inches.

"Ode to Cake," created by Helen Matason Worsing of Forest Hills, features mixed media, including wax tapers on four sides to represent PPG Place, a wax "cake" and roofing nails as "candles." A nude, bald ceramic bisque figure of a female sits to one side of the cake, which is made of a two-layer wood base. On the base are computer-generated definitions of the word "cake" that were dipped in wax to adhere to the wood and sealed with urethane. "The three coats of urethane gave the base the same golden color as the wax," she says.

Worsing, the art director for Mt. Lebanon magazine MTL, says she bought the cake's figurine "when Kaufman's Department Store was closing, so it ties into the history of Pittsburgh. It was on the ring counter."

Alan Byrne of Bellevue used digital drawing for his "Plans for Birthday," which shows a "blueprint" interpretation of the cake, shown with a side view and a cross section from a "cut piece. …

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