Bakery Tables: Words with the Artists








Three Facts about Jon:

– His favorite fish to catch is the Bluegill.

– His first words were “ET phone home.”

– He has broken six bones and each accident occurred on a Sunday.


A Few Words on the Table:

The skull table uses acrylic paint. There are several layers beneath the top most and I used a comb to expose the earlier orange looking one. A bakery seems an unlikely spot for a skull, an unwelcoming, foreboding presence. I tried to convey a sense of playfulness and comfort in the color choice. Skulls have significance in my life because their image evokes in me a calm, meditative state.




Three Tidbits about Tina:

– She is a certified EKG technician.

– When she was 8 years old she was an extra on Unsolved Mysteries.

– She owns a Hello Kitty toaster.


A Few Words on the Table:



Aside from it being my favorite food, pizza became my inspiration for my table.  The Garbage in particular.  Because of its many ingredients, the way it is constructed is synonymous with the Medici.  An abundance of people from different backgrounds, talents, likes, cultures, cities, ages, etc… all brought together to make up the restaurant, employees and patrons alike.


Having been a patron prior to working at the Medici on and off for 12 years, I have seen and met people that visited, frequented, and worked at this neighborhood joint. I wanted to represent that in my table.  The gargoyle symbolizes the restaurant itself, and the layering of varying textures, beads, and hues represents all who have walked through the front door.




Info on Will:

– He works at the Medici.

– As a server.

– For two years.


A Few Words on the Table:

Two of my friends were invited to enter a show called “Concrete Waves” at the Rumble Arts Center in Chicago. The works in the show were done on skateboards. My friends, Ulyssess and Gerardo, decided to wood-burn rather than paint their boards as all the others had. After seeing the finished product, I decided I was going to use the same technique for the table. When I think of the Medici I think of the Renaissance era and who better than the iconic Cosimo de’ Medici to represent this name and time.




Three Lines about Liz:

– She has moved sixteen times.

– She went to the state science fair in eighth grade.

– She once sprained her ankle doing a do-si-do.


A Few Words on the Table:

I am more of a photographer than a painter. A gracious co-worker, Kelly, modeled for me by smashing her face up against a bakery window as I snapped the pictures the table painting would be based on. This table was loosely inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass.” I have worked at the Medici for seven years and have seen the line separating Medici patrons and Medici workers blurred, crossed, and reversed. I think that this is one the Medici’s attributes. People pass through but invariably come back.

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Questions Answered by M.L. Kennedy

The Medici has been in Hyde Park since, roughly, forever. It has been in its current location longer than the current crop of undergrads have been alive. And I’ve worked there longer than I care to admit. In my (let’s call it) illustrious Medici career, I’ve been asked thousands of questions. Some are common: Where is the Robie House? Some are less common: Can I get half this pizza thin crust and the other half pan? But the one I’m interested in today is: What/who is the Medici?


This is a question I get a lot. I like to give different details with every answer. Lorenzo de’ Medici was the patron of all things Eye-talian and TWO of his sons became Pope. Catherine de’ Medici was briefly the regent of France and close personal friends with Nostradamus. Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici was known as “Piero the Unfortunate” and was the Gran maestro of Florence until he was exiled for basic incompetence. Seriously, though, Lorenzo raised two Popes! When all is said and done, four Popes were Medicis. But what does this have to do with a burger/pizza/milkshake joint? On the surface? Very little.


The Medici (the restaurant) isn’t so much an Italian restaurant. It serves quesadillas and Moroccan ragout for Pete’s sake. We make Eggs Florentine for breakfast, but Florence isn’t a strong influence on our food. Plus, I think I can safely say that I am working with no future Popes. (Prove me wrong, Yaya!) But the legacy of the Medici family is something of an aspiration for the restaurant. The Medici family included heads of state, leaders of men, patrons of the architecture and sciences. Despite various flaws, they provided for an age where art and humanism could grow. They commissioned works from Raphael and Michelangelo, (possibly Master Splinter), and had their children taught by Galileo.


The Medici restaurant is a place for thought and discussion. It’s a place where we’ve served the Obamas, David Axelrod, and the like. We’ve employed actors, directors, musician, cartoonists, and all sorts of other artists. It’s a place where we showcase the artwork of our employees and the artwork of Matisse. It’s a place where what you see on our walls has a history, and isn’t there because the TGIFridays corporation thought it would provide proper flair. We are the Medici. (And to answer that most common question we pronounce is “Med-itchy”.)


And the U of C doesn’t have an Architecture school, no matter what Julia Roberts’s movies tell you.


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