Sweet and Sandy

Earlier this week my friend and I went to my hometown of Bay City to tour a sugar beet factory. Growing up, people in BC loved to moan and groan about the smell of sugar beets- it’s not an awesome smell. In fact, in her autobiography Madonna famously (well, famously if you lived in BC) said she was from a smelly, little town in Michigan. That’s us!! Honestly, it only smells for a few weeks of the year, and only if the wind is particularly shifty. Now the odor makes me nostalgic!

I learned that on average it takes about 7 average-sized sugar beets to make one 5-pound bag of sugar. The factory we toured produces about 1.2 billion pounds of sugar a year. Billion with a B!

I’m thankful for sugar for many reasons, one of which is sugar art! Jonathan H. Cheeseman, a Lansing based artist, uses sugar to create amazing pictures. One of his pieces is featured on a billboard for “Art in the Sky” an initiative led by the Greater Lansing Arts Council to feature local artists on billboards around the city. It makes driving places much more fun! Here is Jonathan’s billboard:

I wonder how much sugar it takes to make a billboard-sized drawing?

This reminded me of a video we showed the kids in church at Easter. Sand art is becoming increasingly popular since Kseniya Simonova won Ukraine’s Got Talent. Less tasty than sugar art, but equally cool. Below are both the Easter story (told in sand) and Simonova’s incredible talent.

And I think I’m being fancy when I pack a bucket of sand and make a “castle” at the beach! Ha! On a billboard, at church, on TV… sugar and sand are making waves in the world of art!

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