“This is going to be branding material,” gallery director Bill Seitz decided after the Brazee Street artists delivered a small serving at last year’s show. Figuratively speaking, half a loaf was not enough. This year, the colorful, glossy slices decorate the exhibit’s program and deservedly have a big room of their own.
Gross and Busch elevate a craft to an art form. A tile might look like Wonder Bread, but it’s not mass-produced, Seitz says, noting that each piece is time-intensive, as the glass is fired multiple times for different effects.
And what effects! Plaid toast pops out of a vintage toaster. A rack of Rothko toast glows in shades of orange, red and brown. Images of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, the Virgin Mary and even W.C. Fields are mini-miracles. The room’s centerpiece is a light table displaying dozens of slices topped with glass butter, jam, cheese and sunny-side-up eggs. The artists have even sprinkled “cinnamon” to make smiley faces, as a parent might do to amuse a child at breakfast. Seitz calls such a memory-triggering detail “another layer of animation.”
THE ART OF FOOD exhibit is free and continues through April 13 at Covington’s Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center.