Priest Artist Teams up with OTR Bakery
This guest post by Toni Cashnelli originally appeared as “Market ‘gallery’ takes the cake” in SJB eNews Notes, an online publication of the Franciscan Friars, Province of St. John the Baptist. Reproduced with permission.
Just around the corner was an opportunity Fr. John Quigley, OFM, could not ignore.
A resident of Pleasant Street Friary, John knew the comings and goings at Findlay Market, one of his closest neighbors in Over-the-Rhine. When a coffee shop on Elder closed, Jeannette Werle, a pastry chef with a popular stall at the market, moved in.
“I congratulated her on getting the space,” John said. And then he looked around. Jeannette had landed a prime spot on the south side of the market, with a second connected storefront. One room would be the kitchen and display space for The Cake Rack Bakery and its European-style breads and pastries. The adjoining room that would serve as sit-down space for customers was “unfortunate,” John says – not so much bad as boring.
“I don’t know what to do,” Jeannette said. But John did.
“I have some things I could hang there,” he said, then led her to the Friars Studio on Main Street where he paints, leads classes and displays his own and other friars’ works. The problem there is, “When I’m gone it’s closed,” he says.
Jeannette liked the idea of showing paintings in her “spare” storefront. “She said, ‘You could even sell them there.’” John said tactfully, “It would be nice if you could fix that up.” Donating his time and materials, “I painted the room for her and designed the space.”
Then he hung paintings. Jeannette is building a following, and so is John. So far, “I’ve sold three pieces in about a month,” he says. The baker’s hours are a boon for the artist. “Here I have my work out 12 hours a day and I don’t have to ‘babysit’” the space.”
It’s a first step, says John, who plans to post photos by Greg Friedman and hopes to show paintings by other friars.
Jeannette is happy, John is happy, and customers are developing a taste for local artwork.
The Cake Rack Bakery on W. Elder St. is open 8 am – 4 pm Tuesday-Friday, 7 am.-6 pm Saturday, and 8 am -3 pm. Sunday.
The Friars Studio on Main Street does not have regular hours. For information on workshops, click here.
Photos by Toni Cashnelli.
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