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Edible art show takes the cake

Catonsville High School celebrates 18th annual community event

By Brian Conlin, bconlin@tribune.com

11:08 AM EDT, April 2, 2012

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At what could safely be called the area's highest-calorie art show, CatonsvilleHigh School hosted 102 pieces of artwork at its 18th annual Edible Art Show on March 28.

From peanut butter and jelly sandwiches arranged to look like an iPod to a replica of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" done in frosting, the works dabbled in realism and the abstract, in the new and the retro.

"It's not as big as some years," Catonsville art teacher Windy Spiridigliozzi said the day after the event. "But I still felt it was successful."

The artists used many media, including fruits and vegetables, Jell-O and cereal, but most relied on the structural integrity of Rice Krispies Treats and cake and the decorative look of fondant and icing.

Catonsville High seniors Katie Broussard, Hannah Jeffrey, Seamus Ertel, Clay McCoy and Duncan Berr used six boxes of Rice Krispies cereal, 17 bags of marshmallows, green frosting and 10 hours of labor to create a 4-foot Carl the Crocodile that earned the students first place out of 72 entries in the high school and community section.

Broussard said her team had worked together at the two preceding art shows, making a turtle that finished second as sophomores and frog that finished sixth last year when they were juniors.

"We just kept with the semi-aquatic animal theme," a laughing Broussard said at the event. "It's really fun just to see what everybody else makes and compare it to ours."

Fourth-grader Sydney Hogarth, her sister, Kendall, in second grade, and fifth-grader Jami Citko took home first prize in the elementary school section, which had 19 entries, for their replica of a crab feast called "I'm Crabby."

The Catonsville Elementary School students used Rice Krispies Treats covered in icing and Old Bay for the crabs, Kix cereal for the corn on the cob and Jell-O for the butter and Diet Pepsi.

"We wanted to make Catonsville Elementary, but it was too hard and we only had two days to make it," Sydney said. "We decided to make crabs and we decided to make corn because corn goes really with crabs."

Though Jami likes to eat crabs, she said she wasn't tempted to rip off a claw of her masterpiece.

"The Old Bay doesn't really go with it," said Jami, noting her team spent five hours putting the work together.

A group of seventh- and eighth-grade home-schooled students from Heritage Instructional Services took first place in the middle-school division for a series of colorful African masks made from cookies and candy.

A group of elementary school students, also from Heritage Instructional Services, took home the "People's Choice Award" for their work called, "The World," which featured gingerbread men holding hands around a cake that had a map of the world in icing.

Heritage Instructional Services provides tutor-led classes for home school families on Mondays and Wednesdays out of St. Timothy's Church at 200 Ingleside Ave.

Twin sisters Sarah and Katie Huber couldn't attend the event because they were in New York with Catonsville High's theater club watching a performance of "Godspell."

So their mother, Paula Huber, brought in their entry, an arrangement of squash, radish, leeks and other vegetables carved to look like flowers and arranged in a gourd.

The juniors thought about bringing other desserts, but they feared it wouldn't hold up since they couldn't do any last-minute touch-ups because of their trip to New York, Paula Huber said.

"It was a true team effort. One was carving and one was putting them in the gourd," Paula Huber said at the art show. "Last night, it was like a floral shop, pieces all over the place."

Like the Hubers, a group of Catonsville High seniors relied mostly on vegetables for the peacock they created, though they did add some sugary cereal and candy for color.

Kristina Bowman, Kimberly Gregory and Lacie Ritter used lettuce for the feathers, cabbage for the body and eggplant for the beak with the candy and Froot Loops acting as the colors of the peacock.

Each member of the trio had entered in the contest before but decided to team up this year and combine the wisdom gained over the previous years.

Bowman said she made a sand castle for the art show one year, but it fell apart while she brought it into the school's cafeteria.

"That's the main thing, is trying to get it from your house to here," Ritter said, noting they didn't exceed 10 miles per hour as they drove to school.

Catonsville High sophomore Emily Shaw, a first-time entrant, replicated "Starry Night" on sheet cake using icing where van Gogh used oil paint.

"I actually saw a picture of it on the Internet, and I thought it would be cool to do it because it looks really awesome and I like van Gogh," Shaw said at the show.

"I thought it wasn't going to turn out very good, but it came out great. So I'm glad, and I'm glad people like it," Shaw said. "Everyone's just so happy and friendly, it's just so much fun."

Unlike art in a museum, these works were meant to be only temporary.

By 7:30 p.m., the crowd had gone from enjoying the art to gobbling the cupcakes, digging up cake with a spoon and tearing off Rice Krispies Treats from various sculptures.