The beginning of spring is heralded with a great ‘Art in Bloom’ show

To the Editor:

In Boca Grande, where seasons blur and winter is not cold, spring did nonetheless decidedly begin on March 21, with a beautiful, colorful and exciting floral display. At the sixth annual Art in Bloom Spring Show, the talented artists of the Boca Grande Art Center teamed with gifted members of the Boca Grande Garden Club to make the magic of springtime come true in rich and varied paintings, sculptures and multimedia art works, and fabulous plant, flower and greenery designs.

Marguerite Tremelin interpreted Bob Vorel’s vibrant abstract painting in deep red carnations and striking orange protea atop a blue and white chinoiserie vase. Sue Reske matched Carol Hall’s equally intense color palette with vivid orange birds of paradise atop layers of yellow roses, pink stock and blue delphiniums with the two works combining for a powerfully happy and bright statement of tropical joy. Also using a bright, colorful expression was Carol Swift matching Art Center President and Garden Club Secretary Ginny McCloskey’s bold painted hues and even using a glass sculpture made by artist Esther Jensen as part of her arrangement.

Judy Thomas, Nancy Garraghan and Garden Club President Peggy Saewert went for cool, shady greens – many of them locally foraged – as they interpreted Margo Russell’s painting of a similarly shaded and sun dappled barn. Likewise, Sandy Burroughs chose a vase full of grasses accented by tiny goldfish to interpret Penny Sims painting of a girl sitting on the edge of a lily filled pond watching for fish.

Francie Johnson and Clare Doyle interpreted Deborah Dawn Cooper’s life-like ceramic turtle in a garden of white lady slippers floating like turtles themselves above their green mottled leaves. In another wildlife interpretation, Sylvia Barany and Margot Stoehr used pink accented white lilies with a conch shell vase and sea grape surround to echo artist Gail Cleveland’s painted ibis.

Mary Anne Hooker chose a wall of white delphiniums above blue ones seeming to blow in the same breeze as the bird at water’s edge in Spring Show Co-Chair Nancy Bass’s beautiful oil painting. To interpret Lona Kissinger’s bold, big painted eagle, Georgia McGurl used palm fibers and giant white mums to equally dramatic effect.

Audrey Knapp matched artist Sue Schaffer’s whimsy and colors using vivid purple orchids and lavender daisies accented by swirls and even a turtle just as in Sue’s multimedia artwork. Victoria Babcock and Mary Seymour were able to match the intensity of artist John Mitchell’s colorful sunset oil painting, even including the green flash, using yellow and orange roses, blue oxfords and a big orange protea for the sun itself.

Exquisitely detailed botanical painter and Spring Show Chair Babs Vanyo’s artwork was interpreted by Garden Club Art in Bloom Co-Chair Ann Peterson and Sharon Blasdell matching the simplicity of the subject in an elegantly spare arrangement of purple alliums atop a slate base.

In addition to the twelve artists who paired with teams of floral designers, fourteen other Art Center exhibiting members showed their works, many choosing floral or lush green landscape themed paintings and sculptures. The show extended throughout the Art Center and the Crowninshield House. A special feature in the Crowninshield House was the room filled with donated artworks sold by silent auction to benefit the Art Center’s Scholarship Fund. Each year, the Art Center makes awards to local students pursuing degrees in visual arts.

The exhibit started with a wonderful opening party for members of both organizations catered by the Art Center’s artists and Garden Club’s members who generously made and served a range of beautiful and delicious hors d’oeuvres led by Garden Club Art in Bloom Co-Chair Anne Bowman. The wonderful volunteer bartenders (many of them artist’s husbands) were stationed as members walked between exhibit spaces and were never lonely as all enjoyed a glass of wine while listening to music performed by Marc Mennimo.

The Art Center and Garden Club thank Nat Italiano’s Italiano Insurance for their generous sponsorship of this marvelous collaboration showcasing so many talented local friends and celebrating Spring’s arrival, Boca Grande style.

Clare Doyle
Boca Grande