Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bouquets to Art Opens at de Young Museum

 Floral artistry at its best is once again on display at the de Young Museum in the annual exhibition of Bouquets to Art.

About 150 top floral designers from around the region have created original designs to match artwork in the museum in the Golden Gate Park.

The displays are visually breathtaking, an exuberance of colour, life and art that uplift people's spirits as they stand and admire, and photograph the exhibits.

Cameras as well as blooms were in abundance on  Tuesday at the 26th annual exhibition. Hundreds of people had poured in soon after the doors opened at 9.30 am.

 'This is one of the best in the entire show!' opined Ann, from the Bay Area, joining a cluster of viewers around a large stand surrounded top and sides with vibrant flowers mixed with twists of wood and iron.

It was reflecting a colourful abstract of fused glass by Klaus Moje, 'Untitled' (#7) - pictured far left

Ann's appreciation was for 'the overall use of the materials including the arrangement, which is highly creative. It's a formidable, artistic creation,' she said, listing both soft and exotic flowers, iron and wood.

Equally complimentary was Sue, living north of San Francisco. 'Every inch of that has flowers on it and it must have taken forever to put it together. It's so compacted and (there are) so many designs in it. It has a 360-degree view, which is different from every angle,' she said.

Another lady walking past simply exclaimed out loud, 'Mmm, THAT is something!

Designers Bloomster's of San Jose had achieved success!

The artwork that the designers illustrated reflected a wide range of styles from abstract to classical, the Old Masters taking deeper colours, and also including themes of life and history.

The jazz of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong were behind this 'trumpet blast of gold to celebrate this uniquely American Music.'

The music itself an inspiration from a 'Jazz' punch bowl, circa 1931, the work of Viktor Schreckengost, pioneer of American industrial design.

Floral designers were Constance Shrecengost of Sunshine Flowers of the Bay Area, and co-exhibitor Jennifer Capra of Martinez.

Jacob Lawrence's 1947 painting, 'Migration', depicted African Americans with their suticases leaving the south, and heading northwards with hope towards a changed America.

For floral artists Savage Rose and Marian Lebrun, their piece was 'foreshadowing the bright change these individuals are about to gain in their lives....'

'The flowers bursting from confined objects, such as a suitcase and hat, expresses the surge of energy and perseverance these individuals had while travelling towards their goal of freedom,' they wrote.

In the modern art gallery, sculptor Nick Cave's spangled Soundsuit found it had a glittery counterpart, both of which attracted much attention.

Cave, who is also a trained dancer, named the Soundsuits for the noises they make when worn for performances. So Constance Oakson of the Empire of Flora, Los Altos Hills, made a replica of a suit for Cave.

The entrance to many of the galleries is through Wilsey Court, a large open space which each year a designer is invited to fill with an extravagantly-sized display.

This year it hosts a purple extravaganza of trailing silk ribbons with flowers at the ends. Close up, the effect is beautiful, light catching the different shades, the creation of acclaimed Bay Area floral designer, Orna Maymon of Ornamento.

Around the exhibition, many people reflected a love of colour and artistry in their clothing. None more so than craft artists Tarra, her mother, Virginia, and father, Mort, who posed for photos several times.

'We love dressing up for Bouquets to Art because it's all about the colouring and bringing joy to life,' said Tarra.

The exhibition shows that 'we can all be colourful and unique and alive, and that it's such a joy to create and express. It's kind of like the inner child that is free,' she said.

'May we all blossom this spring in the rainbow of life!'

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