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Announcing Winners of Gingerbread Invitational

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Amber Colby of Cuse Cakes took first prize with the help of her family

December 4, 2015 – The Rockwell Museum is pleased to announce the winners of the First Annual Gingerbread Invitational − an artful gingerbread competition and exhibition with a focus on historic landmarks and architecture in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes.

On December 3, 2015, The Rockwell hosted an exhibition opening where a panel of judges announced three winners based on originality, use of materials, level of difficulty, and overall presentation. The panel included guest judges Amy Simpson, Reporter and Anchor at WETM 18 News, Ann Welles, owner of Exhibit A, and Karol Wight, President and Executive Director of The Corning Museum of Glass. 

Amber Colby of ‘Cuse Cakes took the First Prize for her rendition of the Historic Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ontario. Colby’s entire family pitched in to create the winning gingerbread creation.

Colby said, “It was my father’s idea to use the upside-down ice cream cones for the trees. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family. All the teams did such an amazing job, so we still can’t believe that we won! I haven’t smiled this much since my wedding day.”

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Watkins Glen State Park South Pavilion by LaDonna Costello

Judge Amy Simpson said, “We were especially impressed with Amber’s attention to detail and the variety of the stonework.”

Colby was awarded with a ceramic trophy created by artist Colleen McCall.

LaDonna Costello won Second Prize for her rendition of the Watkins Glen State Park South Pavilion.

“Her use of materials was just so creative, and overall she created a beautiful, fun and whimsical scene,” said Judge Anne Welles of Costello.

A team of friends consisting of Emily Elizabeth Smith, Tiffany Williams, Jessi Moore, Mandy Kritzeck and Alexandra Ruggiero of Corning took Third Prize with their “sugar study” of First Presbyterian Church in Bath, NY. 

“As glass historians, artists, and museum professionals, we wanted to focus not only on a historic exterior, but a historic interior. First Presbyterian Church is unique in that it is the only existing church designed by Jacob Wrey Mould and one of the most complete Louis Comfort Tiffany interiors on the east coast,” said Ruggiero in her initial application to the Gingerbread Invitational. 

“The exhibition opening and awards ceremony was a huge success. It’s clear from the community support we’ve seen so far that the Gingerbread Invitational will be a great tradition for The Rockwell and Corning for years to come,” said Project Manager Willa Vogel.

The Third Place Team poses with their winning plaque

The Third Place Team poses with their winning plaque

The Rockwell Museum offers free admission to The Gingerbread Invitational during the annual Holiday Open House on December 5 and 6, 2015. On December 5, The Rockwell hosts Family Sparkle from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., with gingerbread cookie decorating and holiday games.

Along with the exhibition, The Rockwell is featuring gingerbread-related activities in the Family Exploration Studio, including a large gingerbread-people felt board, a light board activity, a paper gingerbread-house station and more.

During the winter months, visitors will also notice the return of a beautiful hand-knitted scarf for Artemus, the sculptural bison located on the façade of the building. The scarf was created in 2014 by a group of community knitters at Woolly Minded on Market Street.

The Gingerbread Invitational is sponsored in part by Wegmans.

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