Beautiful blooms

Art of Flowers continues a long-held spring tradition.


Keeping up with a tradition that goes back over two decades, the Featherstone Center for the Arts is once again welcoming spring (and its influx of returning summer visitors) with their annual Art of Flowers Show.

Currently on display at the Francine Kelly Gallery are 125 works of art by 125 different local artists. The work represents practically every media — from painting and photography to stained glass, live floral arrangements, and even a bouquet of knitted flowers by Helen Hall and Zoe Thompson.

Among the more unique contributions are a three dimensional stained glass creation by Paul Hughes featuring glass leaves and flowers attached by copper wire bursting forth from an inlaid glass bottle filled; Debbie Hale’s ceramic vase decorated with an abundance of colorful flowers and an interesting asymmetrical folded design; a mixed media wood and beach pebble piece by Debra and Robert Yapp; and children’s clothing by Elizabeth Convery-Luce.

Well known names in the artworld are well represented in the exhibit. Ruth Kirchmeier is showing a beautiful wood block print of peonies grown in her own garden. Ceramist Washington Ledesma revisited his early days as an artist by creating an oil painting for the show. Bricque Garber is joining a number of her Featherstone students in showing mixed media pieces — featuring handmade paper and other elements.

One wall of the exhibit is dedicated to work by local high school students and, in conjunction with the show in the main gallery, the tiny Schule Chapel holds a selection of artwork by kids from Garden Gate Child Development Center, which relocated to the Featherstone campus last year. “We use art as a way to explore ideas,” says co-director Leigh Ann Yuen, noting that part of the kids spend time studying the work of local artists on display at Featherstone for inspiration.

Many of the Garden Gate kids attended the opening along with their parents, which gave them the opportunity to explore the gallery in the same manner as their children.

Over 200 people were on hand for the opening, and dozens of works were sold on the spot. The annual show always attracts a large crowd of buyers and browsers and provides a fabulous, colorful launch to their summer exhibit season.