Our Art, Architecture & Design
We built Farmers Fishers Bakers to resemble a modern, urban farmhouse with inviting, interesting, unique interiors using a substantial amount of recycled materials and relying on the creativity and skill of individual artisans and artists.
Our restaurant honors the farmer, the fisher, the baker, and we work sustainably to preserve the land and waterways we all call home. We are a LEED Silver certified restaurant, which means we are intentionally resource efficient, using less water and less energy, and we were designed and built with minimal impact on the environment.
We use art, architecture, and design to help us tell our story, invite conversations, and open your mind (and your palette) to get a taste of who we are and what we believe. We worked hand in hand with GrizForm Design Architects to create an environment of interest and creativity, while recognizing our roots and bringing a bit of whimsy into the lives of our guests. Our interior is a call out to our family farmer owners, from the use of salvaged barn wood to other reminders of life on the farm. One of our dining rooms sits beneath the glowing ombre light of barn beams constructed of steel and honeycomb wire, a modern take on our pastoral connections; the other dining area is surrounded by a contemporary open larder, a room commonplace in houses before the widespread use of the refrigerator housing seasonal ingredients and preserves, pickled produce, and sauces. We built a wall from real, salvaged recycled tractor tires. Another wall, above the Baker’s Table, has a large installation made from rolling pins hung with buttons from an overalls factory in Maryland. Our purpose is to bring awareness to what we think is the bedrock of this country and a necessity to providing great food: the family farm.
The best way we know how to do this is to once again step away from current, mass-produced culture and seek out the individual creative spirit as found in original pieces of art and custom-made design. Aligned with our principles to stay close to our sources (as we do with our food and drink), we work directly with artists and designers. We love getting to know our artists and artisans, as we do the farmer, and we take pride in showcasing their skill and talent. The artists are as important as the art itself, as with the farmer and the crop.
For Farmers Fishers Bakers, we collaborated with local and regional artists to create a unique restaurant atmosphere to allow you, our guests, to be fed not only delicious, nutritious dishes and tasty drinks, but also mind food to nourish and entertain your intellect, heart, and soul. And maybe bring a smile or two to your lips.
We invite you to explore and enjoy. We quite like our artsy side. We think you will too.
Our Art Collection
At Farmers Fishers Bakers, we like to think we’ve created a modern art gallery, and we’ve many artists, architects, and designers to thank for bringing our restaurant to life.
M. Gert Barkovic is a New York City-based sculptor and shop owner of Mutiny. She knits, sews, twists, and confines found objects, of often-conflicting texture such as steel or rubber, into seemingly delicate, organic sculptures. Barkovic created the Black Sheep sculpture for one of our dining rooms. Composed of bicycle inner tube tires, inner steel frame, industrial thread and grain, the tubes were sliced, flattened, turned inside out, sewn together, and stretched across the steel frame. We love the beauty she created out of salvaged materials. We also love the subject matter. Who isn’t intrigued by a black sheep?
Blue Cat Traditional, a Brooklyn-based specialty sign company, was commissioned to hand paint our Front Desk Mural. From the moment you walk through our doors, you are greeted by original art, by a lively and amusing dining scene in a farmyard. Animals grazing, playing the guitar, sharing and serving food in top hats, this piece embraces all that we are at Farmers Fishers Bakers. We are here to lighten your load, add a bit of joyful intrigue to your lives, invite you to share your food, our Fisher’s Tikis, and the tales of the day, all the while enjoying our urban farmhouse.
Mickael Broth is a Richmond, VA-based artist, muralist, and writer. He has painted over a hundred public murals throughout the U.S. Once a graffiti artist, Broth was jailed for vandalism and has since published his memoir, Gated Community: Graffiti and Incarceration. We commissioned Broth to paint our School of Fish Mural, a whirl of fish engulfing the back wall of the restaurant. It provides beautiful texture and depth to the dining room, and reminds us of our connection to our waterways and fishers. Broth uses various media, including the unlikely combination of fountain pen ink and spray paint.
Noella Cotnam is a sculptor, sign designer, illustrator, mural painter, carver, furniture maker, and mechanical draftsman. She started her sign company, Sign It (and farmsigns.com) out of the summer kitchen of a century-old farmhouse north of Williamstown, Ontario. A self-proclaimed country girl at heart, her first clients were farmers and her partnership with Farmers Restaurant Group continues a long-standing connection with the agricultural community. She has provided artwork for all of our restaurants. For Farmers Fishers Bakers, we commissioned Cotnam to sculpt the giant bull over our front door, affectionately known as Diego, and we are particularly fond of his watchful, protective eye. He looks formidable but is actually made from foam, Cotnam’s first foray into using this medium for her sculptures. Cotnam also created the orange goat in the dining room we call Angel. After all, doesn’t every restaurant need an orange goat on a trapeze? You may realize that something isn’t quite right about Angel beyond her color and apparent circus training. Look at her shadow on the wall. It’s backwards. Doesn’t that add a little levity to your day? We hope so.
Brent Crothers is a Maryland-based artist who has an MFA and BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He works with cast-aside industrial materials to explore the balance between what we make and what exists in nature, and thinks we need creative thinking in every aspect of our lives now more than ever. Crothers created his Tree-Shovel Sculptures for the restaurant, offering a light and interesting screen between our bar and the larder dining room. Gorgeous sculptures individually, their shovel base contrasts with the elegant tree limb “handles,” which cast fanciful shadows on the ceiling, bringing grace and a bit of the outdoors inside. We dig the content matter and feel lucky to have Crothers’ talent featured so prominently at Farmers Fishers Bakers.
Kelly Towles is a Washington, D.C.-based graffiti artist whose commissioned work can be seen in many public areas around town. His passion for street art is a great pairing with his desire to make an impact within local communities and people, which he does through partnership with neighborhood revitalization projects and using his spray can to depict how individuals cope with the emotional roller coaster of daily life. Regardless of the subject matter, the artist’s background in graffiti art weaves through all of his work, a constant reminder that art is his outlet. Towles painted the gigantic American Flag Mural on the wall of the bakery studio, incorporating both spray paint and acrylic to give the flag a worn in, yet modern look. All of our restaurants have an American flag, our nod to our great country and the American soil from which our restaurants and our food is grown. With so many ways to pay respect to America, we think Towles’ interpretation of our flag is a particularly good one.
Novie Trump is an Arizona-based sculptor and installation artist working in ceramic, mixed media, and sound. Formally trained in classical archaeology at the University of North Carolina, Trump often returns to archetypical symbols taken from ancient myths and tales in her artwork. These symbols are used to express such universal human experiences as love, loss, death, birth, courage, and transformation. We commissioned Trump’s Hive & Bees, which can be found on the ceiling in each stall of the women’s restroom, to explore themes of navigation, flight, and home. For us, honey bees are at the heart of agriculture, our home base. As a farmer-owned restaurant and one that supports an urban apiary at George Washington University and honeybee education through the Sweet Virginia Foundation, we are always looking for ways to represent honey bees.
GrizForm Design Architects is not your average architecture firm. Based in Washington, D.C. with a focus on the hospitality industry, they have been instrumental in our work to build our restaurants as sustainably as we can. They have also provided a series of small dioramas of farm scenes and farmers at work – in Farmers Fishers Bakers and Tysons Founding Farmers – that provide continual delight to guests and staff alike, while reminding all of us of our farmer heritage. Describing them, and the tiny farmers hard at work carrying “sugar in the raw” packets or standing by corncob silos, or a giant egg frying on the roof of a falling down barn, can hardly do their humor justice. You just have to stop by and check them out for yourself.
Aesthetic Answers is a design studio run by husband and wife team Scott and Amy Herbert, who combine talented experiential graphics and interior design in creating built environments to help clients tell their stories and showcase their brands. They were commissioned to design, fabricate, and install the Geese and the Flying Pig on the wall above the exit, an art piece conceptualized by our in-house team to deliberately add a bit of whimsy to our world. We think the flying pig, while slightly hidden amidst his feathered friends, is sure to bring a smile to at least some of our guests’ faces when they discover him.