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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Meet the ‘Baegel Babe’ who is creating these bagel-inspired masterpieces

Meet+the+Baegel+Babe+who+is+creating+these+bagel-inspired+masterpieces

In the world of artistic expression where creativity knows no bounds, Sara Flicht has taken on an unexpected canvas – the humble bagel. Hailing from Toronto, this painter and digital artist has transformed the essence of this beloved breakfast staple into a vibrant collection of art that is captivating bagel lovers in two countries.

Flicht’s journey into the world of bagel art began during the challenging times of the pandemic. Seeking a creative outlet, she enrolled in a painting class, but it was an evening in New York City when inspiration struck.

“I was traveling for work. I had brought a small paint pad but had no reference image to work from. Earlier that day I had bought a bagel and took a picture of it on my phone, so I decided to paint it,” said Flicht.  “I was so pleased with the experience, and I love eating bagels, so I decided to merge my two favorite things.”

She shared her work with friends and family and soon began getting requests.

“Slowly people started asking me to paint their favorite bagel orders, then more and more friends asked for bagel art,” said Flicht. “I’m grateful that the response was so positive. I don’t know if I would have pushed myself to keep doing it.”

She kept doing it. Now armed with a palette of cream cheese whites, poppy seed blacks and sesame seed speckles, Flicht launched Baegel Babe, an online business where she sells her collection of bagel prints as well as custom bagel art orders.

BagelFest 2023

Word spread and Flicht’s bagel art began to grow in popularity around Toronto. Her work eventually got noticed by the organizers of the New York BagelFest, the first food festival of its kind dedicated to all things bagels. She was invited to come to New York last October and participate in the festival.

“I think the opportunity to be there and showcase my artwork alongside the ‘bagel community’ of New York helped build my American customer base,” she said.

Now, Flicht is hearing from more U.S. customers, especially those who live in cities with a major “bagel scene” such as New York, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and perhaps now St. Louis.

Sara Flicht at BagelFest.

Painting bagels 

Flicht’s collection of bagel art is designed to provide something for everyone with items ranging from $5 greeting cards to prints starting around $35 and running as high as $225, with plenty of options in between.

Among the more popular prints are Flicht’s now classic “Lox & Cream Cheese” or the “Breakfast Sammie,” the “Corned Beef” and the “Tuna on Pumpernickel Bagel.”

 

“Tuna on Pumpernickel” was a break-out piece for Flicht.

“I felt like I was holding back because of how niche my artwork is. I was working on a small scale, 8 x 8, but when I did this piece I painted it 11 x 14, so it was pretty large,” said Flicht.

Tuna on Pumpernickel Bagel

The larger sale allowed Flicht to get into the detail of her subject and explore that detail more tangibly.

“I spent a lot of time on that piece. It’s my homage to my favorite bagel sandwich, a tuna melt and it was the first actual original painting I ever sold,” said Flicht. “The person who bought it, I know her personally and she’s also a Jewish artist, so I think it’s great that it’s in her home, but I do have a bit of remorse that ‘I let go of my tuna.'”

Another piece that is close to Flicht’s heart is her work entitled “Challah.”

The Challah

“Challah has always been my connector as a Jewish person, so it’s kind of become a symbol for me, said Flicht, who has also begun baking her own Challah. “I love the nostalgia of it. This piece is the only digital art piece in my collection and it’s of a Challah I baked myself. I love the colors because they make you think of home and create such a cozy connection.” 

Have it your way

Like the old line from Burger King commercials, “Have it your way,” Flicht soon learned that bagel fans are very passionate about the bagels they eat or put on their walls.

I am a pumpernickel person and many of my early work featured pumpernickel bagels,” remembers Flicht. “I remember the first show that I ever did, I brought my “Tuna on Pumpernickel” and got such tremendous backlash over it. I’ve never seen people become so polarized over a bagel flavor.  I had no clue that it was such an issue.”

Flicht soon learned a valuable lesson for any artist. Her audience was passionate about their preferred bagel styles and they would not be swayed.

“I can’t tell you the amount of people who come to my shows and say ‘I’m a vegan or I’m kosher so I can’t have bacon in my bagel art. It’s amazing how connected people are to their bagels and needing them to represent the correct version in their art.”

Despite the anti-pumpernickel sentiment, her prints of the “Tuna” sold out.

How to own Bagel Babe’s work

Flicht’s bagel art is available online by visiting her main website or her store on Etsy. She recommends contacting her through email at [email protected] for any custom commission requests.

| RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to St. Louis Homemade Bagels

 

 


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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.