PHOTOS: At Wrightsville Beach exhibit, art inspires floral arrangement

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From Minnie Evans to Romare Bearden, local floral designers paid a living homage to celebrated state artists this week during the inaugural Art of the Bloom, a creative floral exhibition presented by the Cameron Art Museum and the New Hanover Garden Club. Art of the Bloom is the Wilmington area’s inaugural exhibition of floral arrangements inspired by art, taking place Friday through Sunday evening at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach.

The Cameron Art Museum transported thirty pieces of art from their vault for a brief staycation at the resort while local garden clubs and floral designers were commissioned to create floral pairings to match the art.  A blind drawing determined which works of art local designers would use for inspiration.

Barb Bittler, president of the New Hanover Garden Club, said she hoped her creative idea could draw national attention. Motivated by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ acclaimed Art in Bloom showcase, which celebrated its 40th annual presentation this past spring, Bittler said it was time to liven up some of Wilmington’s finest work.

Bittler asked Jayme Bednarczyk, the associate director of philanthropy for the Cameron Art Museum, to “plant the seed” for the idea. Bednarczyk worked with local sponsors, floral aficionados and art enthusiasts to help curate the cardinal event, which she hopes will be the first of many.

“If we can change one person’s idea of art and interpretation, then we’ve been successful,” she said.

Live workshops, celebrated artists and an array of presentations will be on display throughout this four-day-long experience.

Local floral designer Brittney Wells was awarded best in show for her live production of

“The Conversation”, a renowned Romare Bearden piece which illustrates runaway slaves in the midst of the Underground Railroad.

Wells crafted thorned twine which spiraled along the base of her piece to represent the bondage of enslavement, and bright, bursting explosions of form and color as the entanglement weakens and freedom begins.

Among other esteemed creators, Wells said she was humbled by the honor as this was her first floral presentation submitted to be judged.

“I needed a job when I was 16, started out as a delivery driver and I picked it up as I went along. It just became natural to me,” she said.

With newcomers and veterans alike, the attraction embodies a variety of tastes and talent in the area,   International artist Tatyana Kulida flew 30 hours to be at the launch and she will paint a live demonstration during the event Sunday.

Partners which aided in the commencement of this event include the Wilmington Art Association and the Harbor Island Garden Club.

Event organizers said they were impressed that nearly two hundred patrons attended Thursday evening’s opening showcase.

“My heart is just about to burst,”said New Hanover Garden Club Chaplain Sharon Minor, adding that she was overwhelmed with gratitude after working for four months to bring this event to fruition.

Art of the Bloom is on display Thursday through Sunday at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach. Visit http://cameronartmuseum.org/artofthebloom/ for event information and to reserve tickets.

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