Chocolate and art are one in the same. Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, creating extraordinary chocolate has always been akin to creating a great work of art. It requires all the right tools and ingredients, patience, craftsmanship, and a nod towards innovation. That’s why we are more than thrilled to be sponsor Shelburne Museum’s current exhibition, Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert.
On Saturday, September 23rd, curator Kory Rogers and assistant curator Carolyn Bauer let us experience this incredible dessert-centric exhibition. In Kory’s words, “Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert is a decadent contemporary art exhibit that explores America’s tantalizing and tasty confections and its impact on modern visual culture.”
Indulge your senses with a peek inside the Sweet Tooth exhibit. Credit: Isaac Wasuck, 2017.
A Sweet Family Tradition
Much like Lake Champlain Chocolates, Shelburne Museum and its Art of Dessert exhibit are rooted in a sweet family history. “Like a delicious cake, Shelburne Museum is the product of sugar – lots of it.” Daughter of Henry and Louisine Havemeyer, Shelburne Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb was a sugar heiress who used her fortune to build a world-class “collection of collections” that allows museum visitors to engage with history through objects that tell stories. This delectable exhibit opens with pieces from Electra Havemeyer Webb’s personal collection: a historical image of a sugar refinery, a folk art piece about maple sugaring (a nod to Vermont’s sugar history), and a collection of ornate sugar bowls.
Over-sized lollipops create a Willy Wonka-esque feel. Credit Isaac Wasuck, 2017.
A Feast for the Eyes
When it comes to dessert (or any meal for that matter), we eat with our eyes first. As you enter the Pizzagalli Center, there’s a certain sense of anticipation and excitement that fills the air. The bright fairy-tale blue walls provide a pop of color reminiscent of a 1950s bake shop and help transport you to the fantastical world of sweets. For a fleeting moment, it’s easy to forget you are in a museum as the feeling of being a kid in a candy store overwhelms. King-sized images of licorice by renown Pop artist Kay Kurt, oversized doughnuts and lollipops, and stilettos made to look like cakes, are just a few of the pieces on display.
Try to resist the temptations inside the Dessert Case. Credit: Isaac Wasuck, 2017.
The final installation of the exhibit features a bakery case aptly named the “Temptation: The Dessert Counter” that is filled creations by local, Vermont artists. A wooden replica of a maple creemee, the mouthwatering plates of ceramic desserts, and even a 1950s era donut shop themed chocolate sculpture made by Lake Champlain Chocolates' chocolate sculptress, Emily McCracken. “The exhibition gathers meaning from the very roots of Shelburne Museum and invites viewers to consider the complexity inherent in the oft-voracious desire for creations made from sugar,” says Shelburne Museum director Tom Denenberg.
Lake Champlain Chocolates' chocolate sculptress, Emily McCracken shows offer her work of art created entirely out of chocolate.
Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert will be open daily at the Shelburne Museum from Saturday, September 23, 2017 through Sunday, February 18, 2018. As assistant curator Carolyn Bauer says, “Give into temptation, enjoy the eye candy, and leave with food for thought.” It's well worth a trip to Vermont to visit this scrumptious exhibit. When you come, we suggest scheduling your visit around one of the following tasty events:
The “Sweet” Symposium exploring Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert
Saturday, October 14th from 10am-4pm Sweets for the mind! Join us for a lively day of conversation exploring the artwork and themes displayed in Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert. Presenters include Dr. Wendy Woloson, Professor of History at Rutgers University; Shelburne Museum director, Dr. Thomas Denenberg; and Lake Champlain Chocolate’s own Chocolate Sculptress, Emily McCracken. Participants will enjoy presentations, a wide-ranging panel discussion, a chocolate demonstration, and a guided tour of the exhibition.
Haunted Happenings Family Day
Sunday, October 29th from 10am-1pm Don your best Halloween costume and trick-or-treat on the museum grounds. Enjoy demonstrations by costumed presenters, cheer on teams as they participate in the mini-pumpkin chucking competition, take a hayride around the grounds, and enjoy some delectable treats from the Donut Dude, Skinny Pancake, and organic trick-or-treat chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates. Don’t miss on what has been named a Top 10 Fall Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce!
Saturday, November 4th from 11am-3pm Calling all kids! Are you craving something sweet? Spend the afternoon in Webby’s Art Studio learning how to create a delectable candy sculpture.
Savor: Art, Yoga, and Sweets
Tuesday, November 14th from 2-4pm Learn to savor the moment even during one of the busiest times of the year. Enjoy a private tour of Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert and experience art through mindful observation, followed by an all-levels yoga class by Yoga Roots. End on a sweet note with chocolate treats to enjoy with all of your senses.
Deck the Halls
Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd from 10am-4pm Celebrate the season as you explore the museum grounds to take the in the sights, sounds, and festive decorations. Get in the creative holiday spirit as you participate in a variety of art activities. Join Lake Champlain Chocolates' chocolate sculptress, Emily McCracken, and make your very own chocolate sculpture!
Saturday, December 16th from 11am-3pm Decorate your Christmas tree with something sweet. Bring the family to Webby’s Art Studio to create your own gumball machine ornament.
Savor: Art, Yoga, and Sweets
Thursday, January 18th from 5:30-7:30pm Take a minute to decompress after the busy holiday season. Enjoy a private tour of Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert and experience art through mindful observation, followed by an all-levels yoga class by Yoga Roots. End on a sweet note with chocolate treats to enjoy with all of your senses.
Saturday, January 27th from 11am-3pm Kids come enjoy something sweet to beat the winter blues. Use a marbleizing technique to create a mouthwatering, mixed media dessert.