Still Life, Awakened

Ikebana sculpture by Laura Felt; painting by Karen Paquette.

As far as we know, no one has yet tried the experiment with Monet’s Water Lilies — although, if we’re wrong, we’d love to see any attempt that’s out there. However, the local manifestation of the national Art in Bloom event isn’t about replicating the Masters, anyway: the idea is to elevate floral design to the level of any other artistic medium. When bloom experts interpret various works of visual art, they bring attention to their own passion.

It’s possible that flower arranging doesn’t always garner the same respect as a painted canvas. But in this case, with the reciprocal works set side by side, the horticultural endeavor comes out on top. The flowers’ ephemeral nature, the very poignancy of their not-lasting-ness, adds philosophical oomph. Art-in-the-moment, art-where-you-find-it, art-that’s-for-everyone — all these ideas begin to flourish.

Locally, the Gallery at Flat Rock (formerly the Studios at Flat Rock) will host its own branch of the concept this weekend. Owner Suzanne Camarata Ball talks about the “perfect” timing of having it Memorial Day Weekend … “since the town is in full celebration with Garden Jubilee.”

She notes that the Museum of Fine Art in Boston started Art in Bloom. “It was something that I enjoyed going to while living there. Even if the weather didn’t always reflect it, it marked the beginning of spring and an awakening in the city. Art in Bloom has been adopted in so many places, and I was keen to try one here in Flat Rock, especially knowing how many talented floral art forms or floral designers are in the area.”

Twenty artists are juried to participate in Art in Bloom, with works interpreted by floral artists from the Ikenobo Ikebana Society, Blue Ridge Chapter.

Sponsored by Advocates for the Arts of Henderson County and coordinated with Pam Hedstrom of the Hendersonville Flower Market, the event “creates awareness of our talented communities of fine artists and floral artists,” she says.

A preview gala for Art in Bloom on May 27, 5-8pm, will feature live music, refreshments, and the all-important vote for the Peoples Choice Award. $25/ticket, $40/pair. 2702-A Greenville Highway.    Proceeds will benefit Open Studio Tour of Henderson County taking place in September. Call 828-698-7000,  or visit for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *