Over the weekend blogger/artist/all-around pastry-and-sweets pro Jessie Oleson announced she’s assuming ownership of Bluebottle Art Gallery. Oleson, better known as the brain behind cakespy.com, will continue to use the space as a showroom and plans to take over April 1.
Oleson is sorta everywhere these days. Her musings on bakers, bakeries, and baked goods regularly appear on Serious Eats and Daily Candy. Last week she was in New York making cakes for Kelly Ripa. You’ve no doubt seen her pastry-people artwork (see pictures above). Kinda wanky, but cute, too. (Is anyone else having flashbacks to Caroline in the City when you look at these?)
Before jetting off to Paris Wednesday, Oleson filled us on in her plans for Bluebottle.
What will change upon your takeover?
While I will be moving my studio and artwork into the space so that I will be the primary artist, I will actually not be changing the business model too much…I will be carrying a lot of the same artists’ work that is currently showcased in the gallery, but plan on bringing in several exciting new artists, a lot of whom create food-related artwork or products.
How long had you been looking at purchasing a space?
Actually I hadn’t even been looking at purchasing property. I was beginning to brainstorm about what might be the next step for my business, and one day I received the Bluebottle newsletter saying that the current owners, Andrea and Matthew Porter, were looking to sell. A lightbulb went off—while I hadn’t been actively thinking that retail was the next step, as soon as I heard that they were selling, I thought "this is it!" Not only is it a great space, but it’s also a great location. Capitol Hill is like a mecca for lovers of all things sweet, what with the amazing array of bakeries and ice cream shops in the area.
Having shown my artwork at the current gallery, I knew it was a great space—had a loyal following and a good amount of foot traffic…and, of course, it is within walking distance of so many delicious bakeries (as a professional Cake Gumshoe this is very important to me).
Will the name stay the same?
Honestly, I am still toying with it. It has all happened so fast—I tend to be one of those "say yes now, figure it out later" types. I want to honor Bluebottle’s fantastic reputation and status as a Capitol Hill gallery landmark, so I may do something like "CakeSpy Shop" and then include "Home of Bluebottle Art Gallery."