Call to Artists!
7th Annual Gingerbread Invitational: Environments Examined
The Gingerbread Invitational is made possible with support from Ellen and John O’Hare.
The Rockwell Museum is pleased to announce the Seventh Annual Gingerbread Invitational − a fun, artful gingerbread competition for baking enthusiasts and community members of all skill levels.
We invite you to enter your innovative design for the chance to be one of (up to) 12 artists featured in a special holiday exhibition. This year, Rockwell programming and exhibitions revolve around the theme of Environments Examined. In this spirit, design a gingerbread creation inspired by the natural and built and social environment of our unique Finger Lakes region – consider the vistas, cityscapes, landmarks and local natural wonders in your creation!
We encourage you to think outside the box for this year’s challenge and be sure to tell us about your inspiration in your application!
Click to download application
Images from 2020 Gingerbread Invitational
A League of Their Very Own, 1943
By Sarah J. Edwards
This gingerbread baseball field and dugouts, complete with bleachers and a score sign, are an homage to the All-American Girls professional baseball league of 1943. Pioneering women such as Dorothy “Dottie” Kamenshek are honored with candy baseballs and pretzel bats, a ribbon-candy roofed dugout, and Nilla wafer bases.
Any Person – Any Study:
Women of Cornell
By Marie Roller
The Jennie McGraw Clocktower and Uris Library Building are the center of this celebration of notable women of Cornell University. This celebration of women receiving an education highlights the life of Pearl S. Buck, ’25; Stephanie Rader, ’37; Joyce Brothers, ’47; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ’54; Toni Morrison, ’55; Janet Reno, ’60, Mae C. Jeminson, ’81; Makila James, ’79 & ’82; and Gabrielle Giffords, ’96. This gingerbread masterpiece reminds us not to take our educational opportunities for granted!
By Gina Traylor, Mary Milano,
Lauren Milano and Ava Traylor
The Traylor-Milano family created a gingerbread respite in the shape of the home of Anne of Green Gables. Gina says that the peaceful happiness that you pick up on over and over in the story whenever she returns home from her adventures is something every child should be able to relate to. Crossing the threshold of her home was a return to a “wholesome, simple life…and the steadfast abiding love that was there for her.” This family hopes that Gingerbread Invitational guests this year will feel inspired to create a similar restful retreat in their own homes.
Mary Blair’s Village
By Teachers: Sarah Gerow and Nicole Walker
Students: Calia Windows, Kendall Nealy, Braelynn Howard, Brookelynn Willis and Natalie Clark
This whimsical creation honors the artistry of Mary Blair. Mary Blair was an influential female artist at Disney and did color styling for many popular animations including Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Blair was also a key contributor on the popular Disney ride, “It’s a Small World.” This gingerbread village celebrates that contribution with buildings of different architectural styles from all over the world.
The Old Woman Gets a Clue
By Graham Ottoson
This fun ode to “The Woman who Lived in a Shoe” is a playful celebration of Margaret Sanger and the work of Planned Parenthood. Graham is a gourd artist in Ithaca and found her gourd carving tools very useful during the process! The artist’s mother leafleted for Planned Parenthood with 4 children and a 5th on the way! The storybook gingerbread creation features an abundance of candy children, and two candy women in a deep and important discussion!
The Sky is NOT the Limit
By The Aguilar Family
This out-of-this-world gingerbread creation recognizes the first woman to command a Space Shuttle. It represents a model of the mission STS-93, which deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, commanded by Eileen Collins in 1999. The shuttle’s robotic arm extends to show Eileen in her space suit. This gingerbread creation honors women in the STEM fields.
Who Says the Sky is the Limit?
Eileen Collins Commands the Discovery
By Leah & David Sorensen
This edible ode to Eileen Collins depicts her ground-breaking first flight in 1995. The orbiter Discovery, rendered here in gingerbread, was the first space shuttle to be piloted by a woman. Eileen Collins is a local hero born in Elmira, NY. She broke barriers by not only becoming a woman astronaut, but by serving as the commander of several space missions in the 1990s.
Zaha Hadid: The First Woman to Design an American Art Museum
The designer and creator of this colorful gingerbread structure is an architect herself. She looks up to Zaha Hadid as the first woman to design an American art museum! Molly attended architecture school in Cincinnati, and so is familiar enough with the Hadid building to recreate it perfectly in an edible format. This gingerbread representation of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center has a colorful twist – Molly used bright icing in warm colors to really highlight the design.
HOW IT WORKS – Please note important changes to this year’s program
- Interested individuals/teams must submit their application, including a design sketch, by Friday, October 15, 2021. It’s important to follow all of the size and materials specifications outlined in the “Rules and Application” document.
- Up to 12 submissions will be selected to be featured in the Gingerbread Invitational. Each artist/team will then have approximately 1 month to create their design and drop it off at The Rockwell Museum on the designated date.
- At drop-off, each team will be awarded a $50 honorarium in the form of a VISA gift card to help compensate them for their materials.
- Throughout the exhibition, visitors to The Rockwell will vote on their favorite gingerbread creations – the winner of the Community Choice Award will be announced toward the end of the exhibition.
- Please note: Due to Covid concerns, we are not hosting an exhibition opening reception this year. However, Holiday Open House (free admission) has been extended to two weekends to ensure you can show off your creation to your family and friends.
- All participants will receive thank-you honorariums in the form of a $50 VISA gift card, plus swag bags featuring gifts from the Museum Store and ceramic medallions created by local artist Colleen McCall.
- Community Choice Award Winner – $250 + Ceramic Trophy by Colleen McCall
Click to download application
Past Exhibitions + Winners
Gingerbread Invitational 2020: Advancing Women
Community Choice Award: Graham Ottoson | “The Old Woman Gets a Clue”
Gingerbread Invitational 2019: My Dream Home
Community Choice Award: Lindsay Traver | “Tudor Revival”
Gingerbread Invitational 2018: Fantastical Future
First Place: Gina Traylor, Lauren Milano, Mary Milano | “Wegmans 2116”
Second Place: Tuscarora Elementary Art Club | “The Future of Addison CSD”
Third Place: Kristen Merritt, Amanda Gantert, Christopher Knitter | “Civic Center on the Hill”
Community Choice Award: Tuscarora Elementary Art Club | “The Future of Addison CSD”
Gingerbread Invitational 2017
First Place: Ryan Anderson, in partnership with Card Carrying Books and Gifts | Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, NY
Second Place: LaDonna Costello, Eldridge Park Carousel of Elmira, NY
Third Place: Kristen Merritt, Christopher Knitter, Amanda Gantert | Elmira Heights Theater
Community Choice Award: Ryan Anderson, in partnership with Card Carrying Books and Gifts | Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, NY
Gingerbread Invitational 2016
First Place: Ann Cady, Colleen McCall, and Martha Easton | Mark Twain Study, Elmira, NY
Second Place: Wegmans Bakery | “Heart of Corning” – Centerway Square
Third Place: Barbara Mack of Corning Pie Works | Corning Fire Department
Community Choice Award: Ann Cady, Colleen McCall, and Martha Easton | Mark Twain Study, Elmira, NY
Gingerbread Invitational 2015
First Place: Amber Colby of ‘Cuse Cakes | Historic Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Second Place: LaDonna Costello | Watkins Glen State Park South Pavilion
Third Place: Emily Elizabeth Smith, Tiffany Williams, Jessi Moore, Mandy Kritzeck and Alexandra Ruggiero | First Presbyterian Church in Bath, NY.
Community Choice Award: LaDonna Costello | Watkins Glen State Park South Pavilion