The American Garden Club requires state chapters to put on a major show every two years . The Akron Garden Club’s Marguerite Tremelin says Memphis and Houston drew raves for their shows at contemporary art museums, “And these are very prestigious shows, and they find that the art is a continual inspiration for wonderful designs. And that’s what we’re hoping to do here at the Akron Art Museum.”
Flowers draw attention
Akron Art Museum collections manager Arnie Tunstall says floral arrangers sending floral bouquets to the art they love helps the museum, too. “It’ll be great to come to the museum and see familiar pieces from the collection and a new exhibition, the kaleidoscope quilt show, with an added bonus of having the flowers throughout the building at the same time. It’ll be a great last chance to see the exhibition.”
“Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Art of Paula Nadelstern” closes October 2nd. Akron’s the only Midwest venue for the exhibition by the New York fiber artist . Her art quilt titled “Caribean Blues”, one of 20 works floral arrangers will interpret, sparkles and surprises like a kaleidoscope.
And in one way, says Akron Art Museum Curator of exhibitions Ellen Rudolph, it’s like a flower, “Symmetry. One of the primary components of Paula Nadelstern’s quilts is that she bases her designs on bilateral symmetry. It will be interesting to see how the floral arrangers deal with these symmetrical designs.”
Interpretation without imitation
They’ll also interpret the oil painting “Through the Vines” by the American impressionist Frederick Frieseke . Rudolph says Frieseke was heavily influenced by a trip to the Giverny, France, garden planted… and painted… by Claude Monet . Rudolph points out that his primary aim was to record the effects of light and atmosphere. “So that’s where you get this sort of diffuse sunlight and shadows and brilliant colors.”
The Garden Club’s Tremelin says floral arrangers will no doubt focus on two or three colors. “They might look for the movement, the impression of air, of movement and flow.
But she says they are not likely to use the same flowers seen in the art work.
”Actually this is a judged show and what the judges will be looking for rather than a design that imitates the work of art they will be looking for something more creative than that, more artistic, something that evokes the same feel.”
Tremelin and a partner chose to interpret a wall-sized piece of environmental art by El Anatsui of Ghana. First they did some research, “ And found that the major feature in this are the concentric circles, which is a sign of royalty in Ghana. So that gives me a sense of a regal feeling about this work of art.”
It’s more than 9 feet tall and 16 feet wide and comprised of beer bottle caps held together with copper wire. Tremelin won’t say how she and her partner will interpret the work, “But I can assure you , “ she says “ They are spot on.”
This is a serious competition, and not only for the red, blue and yellow ribbons the Akron Garden Club will confer. Entries are also eligible for national awards and some Akron members have won multiple Garden Club of America awards in past shows.
There’s a four-way competition in the Haslinger Gallery that houses the museum’s permanent collection. Tremelin says the enormous mural titled “Girlfriends and Lovers” by Mickalene Thomas will be interpreted by four teams, placing their floral designs on platforms in front of the art work.
Curator Ellen Rudolph says the museum only recently acquired the mural showing three seated women with serious attitude, covered in “bling”. “Floral patterned clothing and dresses and shiny rhinestones. There’s an incredible hodge-podge of patterns and textures.”
No problem says the Garden Club’s Tremelin. Flowers can wear jewelry, too.
“That is another new aspect in floral design. Sparkly materials. Not everything in an arrangement needs to be natural. So there will be opportunity for people to use the same kinds of appliqués that exist in this work of art.”
Photography will be a source of inspiration, too, for the floral artists. Collections manager Arnie Tunstall has pulled out some favorites from the collection including some that have never before been shown.
“Two pieces by Steve Tomasco who is photographing the beautiful blooms in the springtime in Northeast Ohio after a very, very lengthy gray long winter. And another work by an Akron photographer, P.J. Rogers mostly know to the art community as a printmaker, a wonderful printmaker, but she’s working here with a scanner, scanning two tulips. “
Tunstall says the museum is staging the flower show as it would a curated art exhibition:
“ They’re just using live plant material that happens to be ephemeral and it goes away in a week but it’s a, for the time it’s here it’s a sculpture and it will be in front of a painting or another sculpture interpreting it and we’re anxious to see what they do.”
“Art Blooms Kaleidoscope 2011” blooms forth today at the Akron Art Museum, only to fade away Sunday afternoon.
AGC Edna R. Sewell Bowl for Best of Show in Flower Arranging
First Award, Illusions flower arranging class
Marguerite Tremelin/Tasha Tobin
GCA Harriet DeWaele Puckett Creativity Award
GCA Novice Award in Horticulture
GCA Novice Award in Photography
First Award, Our Town photography class
GCA Best in Show, Jewelry and Embellishment Division
First Award, Reflected Reflections jewelry and embellishment class
Summit County Metro Park System and Akron Garden Club
GCA Marion Thompson Fuller Brown Conservation Award
GCA Dorothy Vietor Munger Award
First Award, Patterns flower arranging class
Ruth Moorhead, Broadview Heights
AGC Silver Trowel Award
Ryn Clarke, Chagrin Falls
GCA Best in Show, Photography Division
First Award, Rhythm and Repetition photography class
Dianne Squire, Richfield
AGC Photography Award
AGC Edna R. Sewell Bowl for Best of Show in Horticulture
GCA Clarissa Willemsen Horticulture Propagation Award
GCA Rosie Jones Horticulture Award
First Award, Nature’s Details photography class
GCA Catherine Beattie Medal