Turning Jelly beans into Masterpieces of Art
Watch 100 hours unfold in minutes…more ahead!
Jelly Belly® Bean Art by Kristen Cumings
So what do you do with an unlimited supply of jelly beans? What else, turn them into art! Let’s take a look at some of Kristen’s work. Then we’ll have a chat. You’ll have to check out the time lapse video further down. It’s a great source of insight into Kristen Cumings’ jelly bean art. Kristen’s photo by Samuel Levi Jones
Have fun and enjoy the view. And don’t forget to check out the link at the bottom to Kristen’s website.
Click on any for a detailed view
Time Lapse Video and Commentary with Kristen Cumings
Some interesting facts on the California Grizzly Jelly Bean Art Piece in this Video :
- About 100 hours
- About 10,000 jelly beans
- About 25 to 35 colors of jelly beans
- In Canada, it not “About”, it’s “Aboot”
Q&A with Kristen Cumings
So, where’d the idea to use jelly beans come from?
Actually, I didn’t think of it. I was only 10 years old when the first large-scale portrait was made from Jelly Belly beans, by artist Peter Rocha, in 1982. It was a portrait of then-President Ronald Reagan, who had brought national attention to the beans when he took them with him to the White House. Jelly Belly Candy Company has commissioned several different artists to create art from their jelly beans since then, including Peter’s nephew Roger, Chicago artist Tracy Ostman, and in England, Malcolm West. They have an extensive private collection of art that has been made from their beans. I’m just the new guy! Jelly Belly contacted me in 2009 to see if I would be interested in trying my hand at working with their product to make portraits, so I decided to give it a try, and it turned out to be the perfect medium to match my obsessiveness and love of color. To date, I have done approximately 15 pieces commissioned by Jelly Belly, and seven commissioned by other individuals in the medium.
Which jelly bean masterpiece is one of your favorites?
The portrait I did of my son for Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2012 is my favorite piece I’ve done in Jelly Belly beans so far. It is the one on my website called “Seven”, the first image in the category “Jelly Belly bean Art”. Of the reproductions of famous paintings I did for Jelly Belly that they are calling “The Masterpieces of Jelly Bean Art”, my favorite is Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.
Do you have any other ideas bubbling for unique mediums to try in the future?
I’ve fantasized about being let loose in a hardware store to gather materials for making mosaic portraits. There are so many different sizes, shapes, and colors of objects in a place like that, I feel that it could make for some really interesting pieces. At this point I think I could make good stuff out of just about anything that comes in a lot of different values, from light to dark. When I get some extra time I hope to try out some different materials. 🙂
I’m a huge sci-fi literature fan, love all things robotic and steampunk, am a vegan (for now), try to get to hot yoga class at least three times a week, have an 11 year old son, a 17 year old daughter who is heading to Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern this fall, and have been married for 19 years. To the same person. 🙂 I am steadily working at making art a career instead of just part-time work, but I am a serious late bloomer and am all right with the fact that it may take a few years to get there.
Thanks Marc. Let me know if you need anything else, and thank you again for your interest in my work!
Have fun and create!