George Bellows, Churn and Break, 1913. Oil on panel, Unframed: 17-¾ x 22 in. Columbus Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Edward Powell

George Bellows and the American Experience opens to the public Friday at the Columbus Museum of Art.

But tonight, prior to the museum’s members-only event, there will be a groundbreaking of the museum’s new wing. We’ll be there to help the museum celebrate both the groundbreaking and the Bellows retrospective with Sea Salt & Plum Jam ice cream sandwiches. We’ll be serving a very limited number of these delicious tributes to Bellows (a Columbus native) and his painting Churn and Break (above).

The sandwiches will be served between 5:30 and 6 this evening from our cart on the Broad Street lawn. Admission to the groundbreaking is free and open to the public. (Please note that we have no plans to make the sandwiches available in shops or elsewhere, but you will have another opportunity to try one Oct. 19 during the Museum’s Art Celebration and ArtFUSION.)

The Sea Salt & Plum Jam ice cream sandwich—a nod to the frothy, salty sea and air along the Atlantic coast—is salty Sweet Cream ice cream with sweet-tart Plum Jam set between almond macaroon cookies that we’ve done up in various muted seascape and shoreline shades. It’s a fitting (and delicious) ode to Churn and Break, one of the more than 250 seascapes and shore scenes Bellows created on visits to Maine between 1911 and 1917.

Churn and Break, owned by the Columbus Museum of Art, is awesome in the truest sense of the word, and it’ll be returning from recent retrospectives in Washington, D.C., New York, and London. The painting, along with Bellows lithographs and more than 35 paintings, will be on view Thursday through Jan. 4, 2014.

If you’ve been  around Jeni this past year, you’ve probably heard her talk about the time she spent with Bellows’ paintings while they were on view in Washington, D.C., and New York. Jeni’s friends and colleagues know that she “fell madly in love with Bellows” during visits last year to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

“Seeing these pieces all together changed the way I perceive his work,” she says. “Since then I’ve studied his work and read the (National Gallery) exhibition book cover to cover. It’s been on my desk since the visit and it has been serving as inspiration for me.

At the Met, Jeni spent an afternoon “visiting his paintings again like they were old friends. Now they’re making their way back to Columbus after a hugely successful trip and I can’t wait to welcome them back. Of my favorite paintings of his are his seascapes. I love to look at the colors of his seascapes, especially Churn and Break. No American painter inspires me more.”

The Columbus Museum of Art will host several educational events throughout the run of George Bellows and the American Experience. With that, we’ll leave you with these words of wisdom by the great American master himself, George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925):

Try everything that can be done. Be deliberate. Be spontaneous. Be thoughtful and painstaking. Be abandoned and impulsive. Learn your own possibilities.

Bellows, by Robert Henri (Bellows’ mentor), 1911.