The Flower Show at Birdland Gallery in Beach Haven
“A rose is a rose is a rose,” Gertrude Stein’s poem, falls flatter than a tired adage when entering the Birdland Gallery; for here are 18 artists working within the confines of a basic theme, “The Flower Show,” and expressing it in myriad ways. The salon-style exhibit by curator Elizabeth Burke Beaty was conceived to “boldly shower the viewer with an experience of spring, renewal and lush beauty.” This it does, and if that’s not enough, part of the installation includes a living wall of plants and flowers.
At the entrance to the show is an ink and watercolor graphic, “Flower Show” by Jessie Wolf Temple. A garden of wildflowers emerges from the front of a woman’s pants, an expression of fecundity – Eve in short shorts. More conventional, but most welcome, is a series of paintings of small flower arrangements in Mason jars sensually painted in oils by Constance Bosworth. Bosworth, a painter from NYC, is also exhibiting her wedding portraits at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences this Sunday during the Wedding Road Show.
Local artist Cheryl Syminink exhibits her mosaic skills by glitzing a guitar with Hawaiian flowers and a panel with sparkling Birds of Paradise. Carol Nussbaum, a painter and photographer, has created six floral mandalas, the symbol of unity in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Evan Zodol has original origami flowers on display.
Facing out from the window are Darryl Haley’s wild, metal flower sculptures, a bed of gyrating red daisies set in wooden bases. These are fantastic fun, and you’d want the entire garden. Above these riotous shapes are Victoria Ford’s pulsating colored pencil and ink drawings of daisies and roses, and the face of a smiling child.
Collage artist Dawn Simon has stayed within her monochromatic palette of various black and white clipped images and words. This time her trademark Victorian bustles and shirtfronts hold a single flower stem rather than a bird skull.
Holly Storlie has painted vases of flowers plus vegetables on Mylar paper, adding shine to the sight. Elizabeth Sabine’s grouped paintings are serene expressions of flowers in vases, all painted on a flat turquoise background. Andian Sauchelli’s “Nighttime” is more expressive, with dots of colors portraying a city at night; the flowers are in a vase by the window.
This is just a sampling of the bountiful botany on display at Birdland Gallery through May 14. Birdland Gallery is located in Artifacts and More at 100 Bay Ave. at Centre Street in Beach Haven.
— Pat Johnson