The Worst Creative Idea in St. Louis of 2014

By Egotist / /

The 250th Anniversary of St. Louis, which started off with a handful of unremarkable festivities and proceeded to peter out halfway thru the year with equally unremarkable events, is finally coming to an end. And while it has been a landmark year of our city in the news, there are quite a number of different ways we could’ve gained national spotlight that would’ve been a better entry into our Wikipedia page.

Yet, there has been another lesser evil at play, slowly chipping away at the natural beauty of our city while adding nothing but brightly colored, ill-conceived turds every square mile or so. In what we would like to officially dub the “Worst Creative Idea in St. Louis of 2014”, the STL250 Cakes are finally to be laid to rest, but not before trying to squeeze some money out of the community by auctioning them away for the 1764 Society that wants to build a Founder’s Plaza around the statue of Pierre Laclede in downtown city hall. Well, if their curatorial skills are anywhere near the refined sensibility of the now defunct STL250 organization, we’re in for some permanent aesthetic trouble.

We’re not necessarily blaming the artists in this situation, although a large majority of the cake art is indeed profoundly terrible, but rather the committee and people that allowed such a shitty, city-wide idea be pushed thru for approval. That’s the real problem, the wrong people had the ability to make the decisions for the rest of the city. Ideally, it would have been something more akin to a successful art installation like the Lions of Munich – hell, even city-wide painted Gateway Arches would’ve made more sense than giant, three-tiered cakes that have no tie to St. Louis other than it being our “birthday.” And of course, like leftover birthday cake that has grown stale and attracted flies, no one wants these eyesores to last any longer than they have to; a forgettable end to an anniversary executed by a half-ass organization that couldn’t even make it thru the entire anniversary year.

We had large hopes for our city in 2014. But in the end, we find ourselves with more problems and issues than we had staring us in the face a year ago. Thankfully, we can blow out the candles on this cake and hope that our 251st birthday begins to make up for the multitude of mishaps our big birthday will be known for in the annals of history.

Just know that we still got your back St. Louis… bad cake art and all.


Of course the Budweiser cake is actually decent.

Comments

  1. Anonymous December 18, 2014

    What would have been your
    What would have been your creative idea?

  2. Anonymous December 18, 2014

    Agree with above comment.
    I

    Agree with above comment.

    I totally agree that the cakes are dumb looking, and the vast majority have bad/poorly executed ‘art’ on them.

    However. Being placed throughout the city, they drew the eye to areas that might be looked over by the average St. Louis metro area dweller. Seems like more than a few people tried to see them all, a neat way to get people to go areas of the city they have never been to.

    and an arch? come on. you can do better, don’t mask your shallow ‘i don’t like the cakes’ thinking with “even an arch would be better”

  3. The St. Louis Egotist December 18, 2014

    The point is not what our
    The point is not what our creative idea would have been, the point is that this one sucked. Of course we (or anyone) can do better than saying “let’s put up arches that people paint over everywhere,” we wrote that with exactly .3 seconds of thought given and it’s still a better idea than cakes, because like it or not, the arch actually represents St. Louis.

    However, if you place 250 of one thing all over the city, there will always be some people with too much time on their hand that want to take their photos with all of them. While the idea of getting people to go to other areas of the city is always good, this execution was crap.

    We don’t just shallowly dislike the cakes. We fucking deplore them.

  4. Anonymous December 20, 2014

    Definitely disagree, like a
    Definitely disagree, like a poster above said, the scavenger hunt idea was very successful by way of doing what it exactly intended to do, get people to travel to places in the city and discover new things they wouldn’t have otherwise. The cakes were very popular and there are even very active groups on Facebook involving cake hunters sharing news, tips and hosting their own gatherings. Some businesses even took it upon themselves to make their own unofficial cakes.

    If there are complaints on the idea, it was on two things: the first being that rollout of the cakes took a good while which could be a groaner to someone who already visited one location only to find a new one popped at near that place. The second was many of the cakes weren’t located in STL at all. Though some places dear to St. Louis folks deserve a pass (like Meramec Caverns), other cakes were located at some courthouse in Nowheresville, IL with only a flimsy connection to STL at best.

  5. Anonymous December 22, 2014

    The cakes sucked ass. Period.
    The cakes sucked ass. Period. End of story. Like Egotist said, it could have been 250 garish top hats, and people would have traveled to see all of them. The point is that the idea was flimsy and the execution was fucking ugly.

    They sucked.

  6. Andrea S. December 24, 2014

    Did you make any effort at
    Did you make any effort at all to explore the locations, check out the histories of the locations, meet any of the local artists or chat with avid “cake hunters”? If you had done any of those things, you wouldn’t be calling this a dumb project.
    Yes, not all of them, appeal to me. But that’s okay because I’m no artist. And I realize that everyone’s tastes are different!
    Through this project, I have made tons of new friends and they have opened my eyes to different views of the cakes.
    Just last night I met a lady from a little rural town about an hour from St. Louis. She told me that she used to be afraid of St. Louis; that she used to put up her blinders when she headed to the only place she knew, our Zoo. After exploring the cake locations with her teenage daughter, she told me with tears in her eyes , that she is comfortable in St. Louis!! What a wonderful testimony for this great project!!
    P.s. the “defunct” STL250 group, as you say, is still very active, just not getting paid for their tireless hours devoted to this project!

  7. Shelly December 24, 2014

    I couldn’t disagree with this
    I couldn’t disagree with this ‘story’ more. The cakes pulled my family and I to so many new places in a city we love. We grew closer as a family, learned a lot, found some new activities and generally had a great time on our nine month journey through the St. Louis area. What is it that you don’t get about birthday cakes representing a birthday?

  8. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    Interesting perspective. I
    Interesting perspective. I doubt that anyone really realized that this year was the 250th anniversary of St. Louis. What these cakes did was get people out and recognize the many areas that make up our city. And in doing so, made new connections between the people of these neighborhoods and other “cake hunters.” I don’t know that an arch would have been any better, having been used by MLB for promotional purposes the summer of the All-Star game. I think the cakes conveyed the right message, as there really isn’t another symbol that unites the area.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t think you offered any meaningful alternatives. Being condescending in attitude towards those that worked to organize any recognition of our founding does nothing to fix the problem. Why did the STL250 disband? What other issues need to be addressed to fix our image regionally & nationally? Get out and support your neighborhood and your city. That way we don’t have to read your agonizingly, overstated diatribes.

  9. Sharon B. December 24, 2014

    I have lived in St. Louis all
    I have lived in St. Louis all my life and exploring the places the cakes were placed took me to places I have never been. The artist worked very hard creating the art on these cakes. I was able to spend quality time with my daughter and granddaughter as we explained the history of St. Louis to her. Plus I have meet tons of new people through the STL250 group. Wonder how many that think this was a bad idea has actually explored the city in which they live.

  10. Lisa S. December 24, 2014

    The cakes have taken my
    The cakes have taken my daughter & I to places We have been or even knew existed (having lived my entire life in St. Louis). It was a wonderful adventure & great learning experience for my family. It’s a shame you didn’t see it that way. We have memories & photos to cherish of our fun adventure over the past year.

  11. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I think they were a wonderful
    I think they were a wonderful idea!! It gave families something to
    do together and it got people to areas of the metro area that some would’ve never gone to. It also was/is a great way to learn some history of St. Louis. After the cakes are removed, I still plan on visiting some of the areas that I wasn’t able to get to.
    I am envious of the artists and the hard work and long hours that they put into these pieces of art.

  12. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I have seen all the cakes,
    I have seen all the cakes, except for one. This was a great, fun way to explore the city, visit places I have never been too, learn about the city and spend time with my spouse. While I agree, all the art wasn’t appealing to me, everyone has their own taste. At least the cakes brought people together as they attended events and met each other while caking. Much better than the other attention our city received this year.

  13. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    The Stl250 is wonderful.
    The Stl250 is wonderful. Born and still in Stl. The experience, the history and fun it provided was and is unforgettable!

  14. Jessica P. December 24, 2014

    I couldn’t disagree with this
    I couldn’t disagree with this article more. I noticed my first cake in July, while I was visiting the Muny. Once I looked up the purpose of the cakes and their locations, I was intrigued. I found all 250 and more cakes with my 6 year old and 18 month old daughters. This was no easy feat, but we had seen parts of the city and surrounding areas to which we have never seen! Not to mention all of the family time we spent together learning. If these cakes served as nothing more to the masses as “tourist spots”, then so be it, but it was so much more for my family and I. Happy birthday, St. Louis!!

  15. Laura K. S. December 24, 2014

    I happened upon a cake as it
    I happened upon a cake as it was being created at the City Museum… I didn’t think too much about it and then we saw another one, and another one… you get the drift! We decided to make it an educational activity for the kids and see the cakes. It’s been a great way to get to know St. Louis and to learn about the history and gems the area has to offer. We’ve jotted down notes and yes have taken pictures of all the cakes to add to our state notebook we are doing for Missouri State History.

    The journey has been fun… have I liked all the cakes? No… Did I get lost? Yep… Did I take in the area around the cakes? Yep… Did I support area businesses around the cakes? Yep… The birthday celebration idea with cakes was a great one, what better way to bring attention to the special year! It’s a shame that not many people are really aware of the celebration and all it includes. Yes, the roll out of the cakes and promoting the whole event could have been better… but I have run into many who have noticed the cakes and offered locations they have seen when I mentioned our cake hunt.

    To hear that people think the cakes ‘sucked’ or were ‘stupid’ is a shame. You have missed out on a neat way to celebrate the history of St. Louis and learn something in the process. I made precious memories with my family learning about our community and made several new friends. We’ve talked about the art, the meaning of the cakes and the craziness that has ensued on each of our journeys.

    For our family searching for the cakes has been a way to unplug from the electronic society we have become. It’s been a way to discover the world around us and a way to celebrate St. Louis’ past, present and future.. Cakes are for celebrating and St. Louis celebrated her 250th year. (arches were done about 5 years ago or so and many are still around)

    My two cents on a cool experience that could have been executed a better way for more to enjoy. 🙂

  16. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I think this STL 250 Cakeway
    I think this STL 250 Cakeway to the West was a very good idea. It gave people the incentive to get out & see some place in & around St. Louis that we normally wouldn’t see. I have met some very wonderful people while taking pictures. All said they were having a great time. It made 2014 alot of fun plus very educational.

  17. Jennifer S. December 24, 2014

    While I agree that there were
    While I agree that there were some faults and mistakes made in the concepts of this project, the whole experience of traveling all over St. Louis and its surrounding areas overrides all of that. stl250 wanted to make sure every St. Louis county had at least one cake which explains why some of the outlying areas had cakes at courthouses that didn’t seem to be worthy. However, anyone who goes to Greenville, Illinois to the cake which was located at the cutest and coziest Library will not complain after their visit. Go inside! And anyone who visits the courthouse in Union, Missouri, will understand why it’s one of favorite pics: my father is sitting near the cake, on a bench with a statue of Benjamin Franklin looking like they are having a nice conversation, stopped to take the picture, then carried on their conversation. Who can forget the cake at Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton, where you can see the exact location for their famous Presidential debate? And my favorite was finding Fort Bellefontaine, a beautiful jewel of St. Louis that we had no idea existed before stl250. St. Louis is more than the St. Louis Zoo and Arch, more than the common (yet still relevant) places that everyone already knows. The experience that my family had traveling all over the area, seeing places we had never seen before even though we have lived in St. Louis our entire lives, was nothing short of amazing. Being negative about such an amazing project really doesn’t help our city, it drags us down, and especially in a time like this, with the year we’ve had, we don’t need that. We need positive experiences, we need others to know how wonderful and full of history St. Louis is.

  18. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    Like the exploring and having
    Like the exploring and having cakes was a unique idea. I did travel to all of them (well only the official 250) and had a fun time learning about the landmarks.

    I do think the execution of the project was not very well organized; the cakes not being placed until more than half way through the year, some cakes being removed (because of unclear contracts between venue and artist), cakes being moved to new locations (some of the initial locations did not want to host them anymore), the app that never really worked, and more than 250 cakes. I understand the need to plan to have some extras, but by using 254 cakes it makes the 250 seem a little clunky and disorganized.

    As for the creativeness of the cakes themselves – some were really cool and others not so. Some locations had restrictions on what the artists could do, so that might be one of reasons some of the cakes were not so great.

  19. Julie December 24, 2014

    I completely disagree with
    I completely disagree with this article. Not only were the cakes cute (for the most part) but they brought people from all over the region together to hunt for them. I have had so many friends from out of town tell me how much they wished their town would do something similar. Didn’t Chicago put horse statues all over their city? What did that have to do with anything? At least the cakes were commemorating a significant birthday. I thought it was incredibly fun and a great way to show my teenaged son around this great city. Don’t be such a spoilsport.

  20. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    Totally disagree with this
    Totally disagree with this article. “Caking” became a way of life and for me over the past year. What’s not to like about visiting new places, meeting new people and learning about our great city and surrounding areas? I, for one, am very sad to see this come to an end.

  21. Rich December 24, 2014

    I must tell you are totally
    I must tell you are totally off base…Just because you totally failed to do anything it not the a group putting together on of the largest scavenger hunts in the world is remarkable. You have no clue how this project engaged thousands of families. Each person involved became a member of the social order of more than common people. They became art appreciators…They came with a variety of knowledge, but what they ended up with was a greater respect for the City of St. Louis and the surrounding area. Just because you have the methods of starting this conversation, I am amazed that you are not really engaged in it. You are an outsider that has little or no respect for the potential of the project. The economic impact of individuals traveling in St. Louis, buying gas, upgrading their cameras, hitting the social media like no other subject in St. Louis. They never hurt anyone, they learned, they purchases art, they fell in love with places they had never been before. They spent cash locally and helped support the local economy. You are so far off the beam. Get Real!

  22. Jennifer S. December 24, 2014

    While I agree that there were
    While I agree that there were some faults and mistakes made in the concepts of this project, the whole experience of traveling all over St. Louis and its surrounding areas overrides all of that. stl250 wanted to make sure every St. Louis county had at least one cake which explains why some of the outlying areas had cakes at courthouses that didn’t seem to be worthy. However, anyone who goes to Greenville, Illinois to the cake which was located at the cutest and coziest Library will not complain after their visit. Go inside! And anyone who visits the courthouse in Union, Missouri, will understand why it’s one of favorite pics: my father is sitting near the cake, on a bench with a statue of Benjamin Franklin looking like they are having a nice conversation, stopped to take the picture, then carried on their conversation. Who can forget the cake at Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton, where you can see the exact location for their famous Presidential debate? And my favorite was finding Fort Bellefontaine, a beautiful jewel of St. Louis that we had no idea existed before stl250. St. Louis is more than the St. Louis Zoo and Arch, more than the common (yet still relevant) places that everyone already knows. The experience that my family had traveling all over the area, seeing places we had never seen before even though we have lived in St. Louis our entire lives, was nothing short of amazing. Being negative about such an amazing project really doesn’t help our city, it drags us down, and especially in a time like this, with the year we’ve had, we don’t need that. We need positive experiences, we need others to know how wonderful and full of history St. Louis is.

  23. Mary K December 24, 2014

    I disagree the cakes were a
    I disagree the cakes were a great way to explore the city. I have lived here for 50 years, and several place I had never been to. I had been hosting exchange students this past year and loved getting out to learn about their host community.
    Many loved the cakes, and it was a great way to celebrate this great city!

  24. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I loved hunting the cakes.
    I loved hunting the cakes. Hunted with several different groups of friends and family. I’ve lived in the St. Louis area for 67 years and visited places that I had never been before; ie Crown Candy. This past summer was the most fun I’ve had for awhile! I only saw 100 cakes but I remember the people and the fun we had looking for them

  25. Sarah/Sabrina white December 24, 2014

    I think this has been the
    I think this has been the most effective project to promote the city’s history and to bring people together in friendship. This will continue as participants revisit places they have now learned about. This has brought well over 2,000 people to learn and meet each other. I remember nothing previously that has done this so well. Thanks to all who worked so long and hard to make it successful.

  26. Maureen H December 24, 2014

    Everyone is entitled to their
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m sorry this is yours, and I think you missed the point. “Cake hunting,” from Warrenton to Carlyle, IL, and from Jerseyville, IL to Kimmswick, took my family, friends, and me to places in the greater St. Louis area to places we’d never been. I met new friends and spent time with friends who are now better friends. I found the Black History Museum, the Alton Giant, hiked through Mastadon State Park and visited the Mount Aerie Winery. I am putting together a book and sharing it with friends of mine, which will contain all the cakes and information about what made the places where the cakes were significant to the St. Louis area.Maybe you should have done some research before you trashed the concept, the cakes, the artists, and the hunters…

  27. Reggie December 24, 2014

    I think it’s interesting that
    I think it’s interesting that the author of this post makes such bold statements without any actual substance to back up their thoughts. Why are the cakes so bad? What makes them an eyesore? What would’ve been better? Why were they a failure? Why are they artistically lacking? It’s so very easy to just make sweeping generally derisive statements and look down one’s nose at others’ hard work. This post just drips with immature snobbery posing as good taste. It’s impossible to take it seriously because it lacks so many elements of a cohesive and persuasive argument; it is the blog post equivalent of an elementary aged child who stands on the playground telling everyone else that they stink when they are the one with dog poo on their shoe. 🙂

  28. Beth H December 24, 2014

    I disagree with this article.
    I disagree with this article. I have lived in this area all of my life and visited places I had never been to before. My husband got involved, we had many adventures on his motorcycle, we rode 350 miles one Sunday. My nine year old grandson who would rather stay in the house and play video games would call and say “let’s go caking today”. He learned and so did I about so many fascinating places right under our noses, not to mention the friends that I have made in this process. It didn’t matter where you were in the two state area, if you couldn’t find a cake, if you posted on FB within minutes someone answered with directions…I could go on and on, this was a very positive and educational experience for the city!!!

  29. Bobbie December 24, 2014

    Are you serious? This has
    Are you serious? This has been the best year. The scavenger hunt got me out of my home and out of my comfort zone. What started as a fun hunt, ended up to be so much more. The history, the locations, the people, the artists, the friendships built, the events that took place. I traveled to all the cakes and enjoyed visiting each one. I had the opportunity to tour some places when open, eat at several stops, meet some very kind and welcoming people along the way. I plan to revisit several locations next year with friends. Art…I get it now, I can identify and relate to certain pieces. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I only wish you would have taken the time to step out of your comfort zone and try appreciating this celebration for what it was all about. It is never to0 late. Thank you to those who came up with the concept, to the artists who put may hours and time and thought into all the beautiful cakes, the locations for accepting a cake and sharing your stories of history with us, and thank you to all my new friends who will still be here in 2015 with me.

  30. Bobbie December 24, 2014

    Are you serious? This has
    Are you serious? This has been the best year. The scavenger hunt got me out of my home and out of my comfort zone. What started as a fun hunt, ended up to be so much more. The history, the locations, the people, the artists, the friendships built, the events that took place. I traveled to all the cakes and enjoyed visiting each one. I had the opportunity to tour some places when open, eat at several stops, meet some very kind and welcoming people along the way. I plan to revisit several locations next year with friends. Art…I get it now, I can identify and relate to certain pieces. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I only wish you would have taken the time to step out of your comfort zone and try appreciating this celebration for what it was all about. It is never to0 late. Thank you to those who came up with the concept, to the artists who put may hours and time and thought into all the beautiful cakes, the locations for accepting a cake and sharing your stories of history with us, and thank you to all my new friends who will still be here in 2015 with me.

  31. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I think that stl250 was a
    I think that stl250 was a great project for the people of St. Louis and also me to participate in. For me, it helped me learn more about my city and everything that it has to offer. It also showed me that there is a lot more to
    do in St. Louis than just the normal things that I do on a regular basis. This hunt brought friendly relations to the people it St. Louis and also brought people together and make new friends that have the same interists that I do.

  32. janet December 24, 2014

    wow! I am amazed to say how
    wow! I am amazed to say how narrow minded this comment was. This was one of the best adventures I have ever had. It bonded me with my kids and gave us a year to remember and helped them through some very rough moments. We made countless new friends… Saw areas of the city and surrounding area I didn’t know existed. When all was said and done and we saw every cake out there . My kids asked now what?? There is nothing to do ! They miss it. They said it was the best summer because it was a true adventure we shared as a family . They can’t wait to see the scrapbook of it . And yes there will be pictures of every cake. Not only were the cakes creative.. It brought out a creative side in me and my kids as we tried to get creative taking pictures with the cakes. I am sorry to the writer of this article… You truly didn’t get the meaning behind it all and how it blossomed to something I never imagined for me and my kids and the friendships we made along the way . I hope u read all the comments replied here are realized what a big deal those cakes were .. And how far off base u are

  33. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    We had a blast hunting cakes
    We had a blast hunting cakes this year. My husband had an injury in the spring that derailed our summer of bike riding and the cakes gave us a reason to get off the couch and explore. Only if you had a better idea would. I have taken your article seriously. Instead I found you to be a grumpy jerk.

  34. Tracey Robinson December 24, 2014

    The St. Louis Cake Hunt
    The St. Louis Cake Hunt provided a unique way of spending time with my family this year, exploring our city and county (and then some!) and learning so much history about St. Louis’ past and of our country. We visited many favorites – the Zoo, History Museum, the Arch, and more. But, our eyes were opened to new places – Fountain Park, Martin Malcom Park in East St. Louis (the BEST view of the St. Louis sky line), North Grand Water Tower, Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing, Compton Water Tower and park, Cahokia’s ORIGINAL courthouse and first Catholic church west of the Allegheny Mountains (est. 1790), Katherine Dunham Museum in East St. Louis, Benton Park area, and so many more sites. We visited local businesses during our visits and enjoyed new restaurants and shopping venues. Could we have done this without the cakes? Probably. But the cake hunt gave us plan, a route, a destination and a goal. Could we get ALL of the cakes by the end of the year? Yes, we could and we did! It wasn’t about the cakes as it was to learn about St. Louis’ rich 250+ years of history that we did NOT already know. We met so many people who loved the cakes and loved learning about new places. It was a great experience. Too bad some people couldn’t look past the cakes and into the past they were meant to see.

  35. Jason December 24, 2014

    I agree with most of the
    I agree with most of the above comments. I, like many others, found this an excellent activity that kept me going for many months. It was like a therapy to me, and still is. I’ve met several great people (including those behind the cakes), explored places in the STL area that I didn’t know existed, and visited places I haven’t been to in several years. I even supported most of the places’ businesses and explored most of the museums. It’s sad to see such thing coming to an end.

    I’d like to see you back up your complaints. What would you have done differently? What’s not so great about the art? I could go on. Oh well, anyone who uses swear words in their editorial I don’t take very seriously anyway. In all honesty, I found the writing in poor taste. But we all got our own opinions.

    Respectfully.

  36. Anonymous December 24, 2014

    I’ve enjoyed the cakes. I’ve
    I’ve enjoyed the cakes. I’ve learned some history and seen places I’ve never been to before. I may not have thought all the cakes were “art” but someone took the time to share their vision and I can appreciate that. My only gripe would be the cakes that weren’t in St. Louis. There were places that I thought would have been a great location and instead there was a cake in Greenville, IL?

    I thought the cake theme was appropriate for the birthday celebration. Who cares if they want to auction off the cakes to raise money. No one is making you place a bid.

    I’m going to miss hunting for them as I haven’t made it to 250 yet but it has been a fun journey filled with great memories!

  37. Gail December 24, 2014

    Are you from St.
    Are you from St. Louis…Really? How on earth could you bash these wonderful cakes? I thought the cakes were a brilliant idea! I have lived in St. Louis all my life and have never been to some of these wonderful historical places! I told everyone I know about these cakes and how much FUN it was to go on the “Cake Adventure” to find them. They, in turn would start hunting the cakes as well. Not only that …these cakes have detail in the art that truly depicts St. Louis. So I ask you…you sad person…what is wrong with this? That people actually got out of their homes to do something fun…made new friends…toured St.Louis…and came together as a group! St. Louis needed a boost in the arm and I think was it! Local business and tourism was definitely was ahead of prior year! I think you should rewrite your article on a more positive note…but then you have no spirit for our wonderful city! Get out and get a life!!!

  38. Becky December 24, 2014

    While I appreciate that
    While I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I must disagree with you on this.

    Caking has been a great part of my year! I’ve gone on cake hunts with dear friends and family both, with ages ranging from 4-63. This has been an adventure that has bridged generations. I’ve explored areas from my childhood and found new places to revisit.

    I’ve always lived in St. Louis & love my city – and this hunt has reinforced my loved for my city. During a year that has had a lot of negative light drawn to St. Louis, this has been a positive.

    I’ve enjoyed every minute!

  39. Sarah F. December 24, 2014

    I, for one, enjoyed looking
    I, for one, enjoyed looking for cakes and discovering parts of the city I had not yet visited. I never knew about the Lincoln and Douglas statues in Alton, Malcolm Martin Park, Venice Cafe or Payne Gentry, to name a few. Some of the cakes were more to my taste artistically than others, but the idea of having a city-wide scavenger hunt (TO WHICH NOBODY WAS FORCED TO GO) was worthwhile. A lot of the art was kid-friendly. I say if you don’t like the cakes, that’s fine, but a lot of people do.

  40. Tony Biaggne December 28, 2014

    It seems like many (not all)
    It seems like many (not all) of the people posting their opinions of this article are confusing experience with artistic integrity. A lot of the comments defending the cakes are based on the fact that it got people out of the house, meeting new people, exploring new areas of our awesome city. I couldn’t agree more. I love that that happened for folks. But The Egotist isn’t talking about “experience”. It’s referring to the actual piece of art. Again, art is subjective, and if you like the design of the cake, then fine. As a creative, I personally thought the cakes were ugly, and most of the art I saw on them was pretty awful. Not even “Oh it’s bad, but that’s ok because a five year-old painted it” awful, but “I really want to be an artist but don’t really want to put the time or effort into it” awful. There could’ve been so cool ways to spruce this up. Heck, I would’ve been fine with the cakes if they had just put a little more design effort into them. Instead, they looked like hat boxes with a giant robot penis sticking out of them. Which, if they were indeed supposed to be robot penis hatboxes then I would say they NAILED IT.

    The main question is this: Does it matter? I mean, if it got you to explore our city, then who cares, right? I think the Egotist would agree that on that level no, it doesn’t matter. But The Egotist isn’t critiquing it on whether or not your family enjoyed the experience. Its critiquing it on design integrity, and on that alone I think the cakes were a pretty ugly way to celebrate such a historic moment for St. Louis.

  41. Susan Schultz December 29, 2014

    I’m guessing that most of
    I’m guessing that most of these comments are not from people in the advertising community. They are far too polite. I do enjoy seeing many of you take The Egotist to task, though. I’ve always thought the site was aptly named.

  42. Vince December 29, 2014

    No, they likely aren’t part
    No, they likely aren’t part of the ad community, but they *are* the audience in which the cakes were intended for (not the creative elite of advertising). Design (and art) is subjective, but I believe it’s not always in how it looks, but whether it works or not. Had people ignored the idea and the cakes just sat around with little point whatsoever, then yes, the entire thing would have indeed been a colossal failure and a terrible creative idea. That clearly isn’t the case.

    As far as how the cakes themselves look, again, that is subjective. I have a feeling many critics have only judged the whole thing by just a few cakes they drive by to work at a glance and not seen many more than that. Yes, some weren’t great at all and just phoned it in, but others were brilliant and some even went beyond painting over it. One cake I seen was internally modified and cool as hell. And in response to the cakes not representing STL, like trying to judge hanging artwork at a long distance, often the truth is revealed upon closer inspection. If you took the time to look at the cakes, many contained small facts about the city (such as the Eads Bridge test elephant in the 1800s).

    Many names who worked on the cakes are recognized names in the STL art community handed a blank “canvas” to experiment with, and it was fun to see what they would do with it and I don’t question them putting their heart into it. It’s not any more different or stupid than the AIGA Dot Show idea if you think about it, and I didn’t hear many creatives knock that idea or question what dots have to do with STL.

  43. The St. Louis Egotist December 30, 2014

    Thank you all to all the
    Thank you all to all the anonymous (and a surprisingly large amount of “Female Name” + “Last Initial” commenters) for the traffic boost during the holidays. Please refer to Tony Biaggne’s reply.

    Vince, the problem is that the basic “canvas” in this situation was an overly-thought out nightmare; it was bulky and unnecessarily complicated to effectively communicate various artist’s motifs successfully. It is different from the AIGA Dot Show idea because the minimal canvas allowed for easier artistic experimentation; you can’t do much to a giant, fugly cake without it looking like a giant, fugly painted cake.

    Lastly, while there was many reputable artist who worked with the cakes, there were still many cakes done by amateurs – curation was a key problem with this project as well.

  44. Adrian Aquilino January 7, 2015

    I agree that there needed to
    I agree that there needed to be more curation: all they did was a last minute cattle call that artists only had about a week to respond to. There seemed to be very little effort made to reach out to our city’s creatives. There are many talented artists and designers in St. Louis — a project like this should have been a showcase of our city’s creative community. Instead, it seemed like the art aspect of the project wasn’t really a priority for them. My advice to anyone doing a project like this in the future would be to tap into the network of the city’s arts community more deeply, and include some artists/arts administrators in the planning stages.

  45. Anonymous January 7, 2015

    The community aspect- folks
    The community aspect- folks getting out to explore new areas, the groups that formed, connections, etc that’s AWESOME! And a very positive result of this project! However, each of these artists were paid $500 per cake to paint! Some if which were not executed well. I don’t mean concept-wise I mean there were actual steaks and gaps in the paint. Not to mention that “paint by numbers” doesn’t warrant a $500 price tag in any other public art project. True a few were incredible. I’m not sure of the price of the cakes themselves or who was contracted? Did that money stay in our city or was it outsourced? How much was it? Guessing it was in the range of $20,000. Quite a few of the artists made a solid chunk of change on this project. Which is great if the work is deserving. Without exact numbers I’m guessing this project cost more than $250,000! Is a scavenger hunt, meeting new people, providing a few folks additional salary for a year worth this amount of money? Especially considering the state of out city. What I want to know is how much this project cost, where this money came from and who was paid/benefited!? Journalists, there’s a trail. Follow it.

  46. Anonymous March 14, 2015

    Just came across this article
    Just came across this article and couldn’t agree more with it. In fact, not only have I been given a laugh, I’m relieved. I’d thought it was just me. The artwork is shitty and the idea was pretty provincial. Take that St. Louis.

  47. Anonymous_MR March 18, 2015

    For me this was a waste of
    For me this was a waste of money on terrible creative, if you can call it that. That is not to say there were some pieces i liked but I’m not sure I loved any of them.

    I’m glad that some people did get into it and tried to see all these pieces but I still do not understand how or even why some of these artists were selected. I actually thought this was a ‘school’ project, which would have been a lot better actually – kids from schools all over the city being selected to create their cake art or arch (which I would have liked better). The money could have gone to the schools where the artists were selected and go toward badly and often non-funded art programs. This would have made sense. And maybe that would be just 100 out of the 250 cakes but damn, that would have at least made a small and positive impact.

    The cakes were poorly done at best. I saw many of them but not all by any means. Out of the 60 -80 that I saw, I’m not sure I can name a half dozen that I loved. That’s sad, and finding out they were paid $500 of this is even more disappointing. I just can’t imagine this was publicized for actual working artists. I would have loved to have created one myself. I just hate when there is potential for a project to be amazing and it falls flat on it’s face. We can do better St. Louis!!