A 110-lb. block of butter would be no big deal if we lived in a world full of 200-lb. English muffins. A new sports arena in any other city might be just another civic project. But in Seattle, when a giant slab of the famed golden spread and a highly anticipated sports stadium deal collide, an art movement is churning.
Everything's better with--and made out of--butter!
To commemorate what local dairy Darigold has dubbed "Seattle's golden moment," the company commissioned renowned butter sculptor Linda Christensen to create a likeness of the new arena "based on a 3D rendering Darigold officials designed," Senior Product Manager Seth Godwin says.
"I think this will be her first time working with Darigold butter, and our butter is a little different," says Godwin. "We churn our butter on European-style vacuum churns that make the product more dense. Our butter contains less than one percent air, as compared to four to six percent of other brands."
Though when it comes to butter, Christensen needs no handicap. The artist is a celebrity on the Minnesota State Fair circuit where she's earned a reputation for being "the best in butter," carving busts of hundreds of Minnesota Dairy Princesses, and even one for Conan O'Brien out of white chocolate, with bacon hair standing in for his day-glo pompadour.
For two days next week, the artist will work out of the walk-in cooler--set at a chilly 38 to 40 degrees--in the test kitchen at Darigold headquarters on Rainier Avenue. The finished piece will be displayed on October 24th at a yet to be determined downtown location.
Christensen, who is from Minnesota and now lives in San Diego, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to sculpt the facility. "It's her first sports arena," Godwin says.
The event coincides with a contest the dairy is sponsoring; the grand prize is the winner's likeness--yes, carved out of butter--displayed on a Darigold billboard.
Until the arena sculpture and contest winner is unveiled, lighthearted questions remain. Is sculpted butter art, food, or just fun? Will Christensen incorporate bacon walkways or a small figure of Chris Hansen into the design?
"I don't think so," Godwin says. "She has to create the entire piece out of one block of butter. We're just having fun with our product."