Article by Kathleen Folkerth
Akron Art Museum’s Beauty Reigns exhibit will be interpreted by floral and botanical artists at Art Blooms, Akron Garden Club’s upcoming show.
Visitors to the museum, 1 S. High St., April 17-19 will see dozens of entries in the divisions of floral design, horticulture, botanical arts, photography and conservation. Entrants are members of the Akron Garden Club and Garden Club of America clubs from other parts of the country as well, according to show officials.
Show chair Robin Hardman, a West Akron resident, said the Akron Garden Club has a longstanding relationship with the museum, having hosted previous shows there starting in the 1990s. The last show at the museum was in 2011.
“We’d like to keep this relationship going,” Hardman said. “A lot of other major shows across the country are using local museums to have their flower shows.”
Hardman said museum officials contacted the club about a year ago to propose it host the next show to tie in with Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting.
The exhibit features the work of 13 emerging and mid-career abstract painters whose work shares common traits such as use of high-key color, layered surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns and stylized motifs.
Art Blooms will include large artistic floral designs that have been inspired by the pieces in Beauty Reigns arrayed throughout the galleries. In addition, there will be 53 classes of houseplants, container gardens and seasonal cut horticultural specimens from local gardens, including spring-flowering bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees.
One special feature of the show will be a display of professional floral designs staged in the Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby. Four florists and designers from Northeast Ohio will present large designs interpreting the Beauty Reigns exhibition, Hardman said.
Three dozen nature photographs of fine-art quality will be shown in the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery and will examine the themes of dawn, sunset or moonlight in a garden; citrus fruit in close-up view; rocks, composed or as found in nature; the drama of weather; windows or doors as captured by a cell phone camera; and plant material creatively manipulated. The photography will remain on view at the museum through July 5.
Judging will take place on the first day of the show, and winning entries will receive ribbons, Hardman said. In some cases, national Garden Club of America awards may be given.
An educational component also is planned during the show, with a conservation exhibit by the garden club and the Entomology Department of The Ohio State University in Wooster that will educate on pollinators.
Hardman said the exhibit provides a little bit of spring to those who view it. But she also hopes it’s a learning experience, too.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about beautiful floral design and be inspired by the plant materials of your own homes and gardens,” she said. “It’s a mission of the Garden Club of America to share knowledge through flower shows. We’re all about conserving the environment and civic improvements. We want to broaden the knowledge for horticultural excellence. It’s also open to the public for that very reason.”
The show will be available for viewing during regular museum hours, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is included with the price of museum admission, which is $7, or $5 for senior citizens and students and free for children 17 and younger. For more information, go to akronartmuseum.org or call 330-376-9185.