NEW YORK, NY - The Panera restaurant chain is home to the most extensive bread-oriented art collection in the U.S. Bread-oriented art lovers from around the world have been praising Panera’s efforts in showcasing the form.
“We believe that bread is a perfect subject for art,” said Panera Bread-Art curator Damon Stallings. “Like many other famous subjects of art, it touches all of the senses. Like a bowl of fruit. Or a nature scene. Or a fat naked renaissance woman.”
The artwork pictured with this article is the only painting of a unicyclist juggling loaves of bread known to exist. It is on permanent display in a Panera store in Hyde Park, a neighborhood in Cincinnati.
Panera plans to continue working toward expanding the collection. “I think we may begin looking for other forms of bread-oriented art in our restaurants,” said Stallings. “Maybe some more bread sculpture, or some bread bronze castings. We might even start composing some artistic bread jazz pieces or commission a theatre company to produce a bread-oriented performance art or interpretive dance.”
Beyond just having the bragging rights for achieving such a vast collection, the company is proud of the work it has done to help artists. “There were many in the art world who considered bread art a dead medium,” said artist Salvadore Dias. “Well, thanks to Panera, there are very few starving bread artists in this country anymore. Literally. They usually pay the artists in day-old bread.”
The force behind the bread-oriented art collection in Panera VP of design Darren Walker. “I thought we should something on the walls, and art seemed like a good idea,” explained Walker. “So I went to this guy I know who works for Holiday Inn and asked if the guy who made the paintings for their guest rooms was available. The rest is bread-oriented art history.”