Matt Anderson here, Jelly Belly® artist-in-residence at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis! No, I’m not the one who made the famous art recreations in the Masterpieces of Jelly Bean Art exhibit that opens April 9th, but I have created some pieces of my own. Just yesterday I finished this masterpiece of Rex.
My first work of "bean" art was made merely on a whim when a friend of mine mentioned that he and his fiancée were planning a candy-themed wedding reception. Without really thinking, I blurted: “Do you want me to make a portrait of the two of you out of Jelly Bellys??” (And yes, I blurted it with two question marks.) Only later did I realize I had no clue how to actually do it.
So, like any artist worth their beans, I experimented. I sketched onto a large piece of foam board the picture I wanted to reproduce, then lugged the whole thing to Super Target’s candy section where I literally poured out Jelly Bellys by the hundreds to see how many of each color I’d need for the various sections. (This resulted in many comments from customers, and one very baffled employee.) Finally, I “painted” areas with glue and just started sticking Jelly Bellys on, one Belly at a time.
And let me tell you: it takes a LOT of Bellys. In fact, I’d always wondered exactly how many... so for this new piece, I decided to actually count as I worked. The total? 5,615!! I used 22 flavors, ranging from coconut (by far the most, at 2,223 beans) to sour grape (only 4 beans). Rex alone is made up of 1,837 beans, including four different shades of green (watermelon, green apple, sour apple, and 7up). The museum logo (blueberry, kiwi, and licorice) contains 334 beans. The whole thing weighs 20 pounds, almost 14 from the beans alone!
Well, I should probably sign off here and “get rid of” some of these leftover jelly beans. As for you, stop by The Children’s Museum April 9-June 1 to check out the official Jelly Belly® masterpieces on display. You’ll see American Gothic, Starry Night, the Mona Lisa... some as large as 5.5 feet on a side! (Imagine how many beans it took to make those...) See you there!