Garden Club of LBI Makes Artistic Arrangements

By PAT JOHNSON | May 24, 2017
Photos by: Pat Johnson A photo by Jan Conradi, ‘il bucato cefatu Sicilla’ is enhanced by an arrangement by Maddy Foley.

The Garden Club of Long Beach Island partnered with the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences to create a floral extravaganza during the opening of the “We Create” exhibition by the faculty and staff of Rowan University.

The floral designers took the shapes and colors from selected artworks and then used their own expertise and artistic flair to interpret the work using flowers and botanicals.

“Art in Bloom” is a fun and creative event that is presented every two years by the members of the garden club. In past years they have collaborated with the Noyes Museum of Art  when it was in Oceanville, but now that it is no longer local, they looked for another venue. Co-chairwomen Andrea Rudner and Debbie McWilliams started months ago to work with the Foundation.

“We had to find out when they were going to hang the show, and then the members viewed it and decided what pieces they wanted to work with,” said McWilliams. “Then they worked on their designs, and we installed the show on Friday. The opening was on Saturday, and we just took them out this morning,” Monday.

Unfortunately, fresh flower art is ephemeral. But the show was a big success, said McWilliams. “About 100 people came, and most of the artists were there and got to meet their ‘interpreters.’ They all were happy with what they saw. It was a new concept for them, and they said they would love to do another collaboration,” she said.

There were 18 collaborations between art and floral designers. Here are a few: a photo by Jan Conradi, “il bucato cefatu Sicilla,” is enhanced by an arrangement of orange roses, blue delphinium, a sunflower and hydrangea bloom that was designed by garden club member Maddy Foley.

Nancy Kunz used South Africa’s national flower, pincushion protea, to mimic the color scheme in “Random Markings” by Herbert Appelson.

The broad shoulders of the man in Ekaterina Vanovskaya’s painting, “Man and Boy,”was captured in a line of white moth orchids in a minimalist arrangement by Debbie McWilliams.

Nancy Ohanian’s political illustration “EPA Regulations” is mirrored in a simple linear arrangement of Hollandia Scotch broom bursting from the center of floating yellow carnations; the flowers were created by Pat Morgan.

Two flower artists, Ginny Scarlatelli and Tracey Cameron, showed how decorating with the right flowers can enhance the enjoyment of art, using “Alex in Nice” by painter Aubrey Levinthal as an example.

“Still Life with White Shell” by Rosemary Castiglioni is a diminutive painting, and Diane Peleyn and Beverly Reitinger used small, wildflower “beachcomber” arrangements to complement it.

A flowing “Surface” mixed-media painting by Nancy Sophy was deftly interpreted by Betty Frey with an off-center cluster arrangement of blue carnations and eucalyptus.

Finally, John Mitchell’s large painting, “Missouri,” was executed in sober earth colors, but Jean Devlin’s mille fleur arrangement in a rustic box brought out the brighter tones.

The Garden Club of Long Beach Island’s next event is the Blue Star Memorial Byway dedication at the Beach Haven Library on June 14 at 11 a.m. The byway is a national planting of dogwoods by garden clubs that started soon after World War II to serve as a living memorial to veterans. The event on June 14 will include a plaque dedication that will grace a boulder in a garden planted by members of the Garden Club of LBI. Refreshments will be served.

The “We Create” exhibit continues through May 29 at the Foundation.

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