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Monday, November 18, 2019

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Food to Art

By Autumn Schanil - staff writer

By:
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AUTUMN SCHANIL | DEMOCRAT
This cake sculpture was one of the first that Simons created. She did extensive research on coral reefs and its vibrant life in order to make the forms as detailed as possible.
LIBERTY — Kim Simons, multi-award winning cake and food artist, has been nationally recognized as one of the Top Ten Cake Artists in North America and she hails from right here in the Catskills, more specifically, Liberty.
“I've never known anything else but art. Ever since I came out [of the womb], you handed me something and I was making something,” Simons said laughing. “I used to get in trouble for playing with my food, and now, I get paid to play with food.”
A self-taught cake artist, within a year and a half Simons went from beginner to a master level cake creator who now judges other people's entries.
“I initially started because I was watching those Food Network challenge shows and I thought, ‘hey I could do that,'” Simons said.
“So I started freeze framing the shows just to see the products because I didn't know what they were using. Six months later I entered my first cake in a New York cake show. They immediately moved me from beginner to professional, and I won.”
Simons creates unique and beautifully detailed sculptures out of fondant, sugar, gum paste and marzipan while also utilizing foods like pasta, candy, beans, seeds and more.
What makes her even more unique?
Originally an avid painter, she hand paints, with edible color, all of her creations.
“I only work in black and white when creating the cakes, I don't really work in color,” explained Simons. “I hand paint everything later with edible colors, where as most other people work directly with colored fondant.
“I can make my own color better and it gives me more depth, texture, shadows, stuff like that. For some reason it throws me off if I'm working in color and I know the tone isn't right. It makes it harder for me to create something.”
Inspired by her Native American heritage, a lot of Simons work involves native objects, people, animals and realistic natural scenes.
And of course, pushing the limits of construction and design, moving beyond the ordinary to create unbelievable and astounding works of art.
Simons has been featured in more than five various cake magazines and was recently featured on Food Network's “Cake Wars,” “Duff Till Dawn,” “Outrageous Wedding Cakes,” and “Sugar Dome.” She also made an appearance on Telemundo's “Buenos Dias Nueva York” in which she presented one of her cakes to the audience in celebration of their first show.
“I always have like 10 cake ideas or visions floating around in my head,” said Simons, “and I'm really specific about detail, so I always do research. But I don't put anything down on paper, I can see the project from start to finish in my head and I just ... create.”
Simons' art is on display at the Liberty Museum and Arts Center at 46 South Main Street in Liberty until August 6.
To see more of Simons' creations visit www.cakesbykimsimons.com or visit her Facebook page cakesbykimsimons.





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