PEPPERELL — Lawrence Library’s upcoming art event is a chance for amateur floral designers from the Pepperell Garden Club to display their work.
Art in Bloom is running from April 19 to 21 at the Lawrence Library on Main Street. Amateur design teams from the Pepperell Garden Club have been working prepare floral art to accent, interpret and compliment pieces of art from the library’s collection.
Evidence of floral design, however, has been found as far back as Ancient Egypt, according to Dr. Charles P. Griner’s book Floriculture: Designing & Merchandising, and it was introduced to America in the pre-colonial era.
Pepperell Garden Club President Diane Temple said members of the club have been to see displays locally, shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Worcester Art Museum have been happening for decades, but this is the first time the club has tried it.
“We had a speaker at one of our monthly meetings and the library has been asking about the event, so we decided to do our own locally,” she said.
The speaker, Thelma Shoneman, began offering classes for six teams of two to three members this winter. Members brought their own containers and used flowers, herbs, plants and other natural additions to make a piece, then the class would discuss them.
Shoneman is a veteran of the MFA and Worcester shows for the past 20 years, and Temple the classes usually involved her discussing some of her own work and then giving suggestions to help the class work on techniques with materials she provided.
“Even though we would all get the same things, each one would look totally different,” Temple said.
“It was also a big help that she showed us some of her work over the years,” said Garden Club member Kathleen Santeufemio. “That way we got an idea for how it would look with the art.”
Floral design was a different area for Santeufemio and the inherent displays they’ve created are a good way to exhibit what the garden club is all about.
“Partnering with the library is an opportunity for both of our groups to try something different, ” said Santeufemio. “It has been interesting trying something different.”
For their art, the teams chose from photographs, oil and water color paintings, mounted animals and other things in the library’s own collection. Since, they have been experimenting with designs and reviewing materials.
According to club member Terry Geddes, they consider everything from the presentation, height and container the flowers will be held in before they begin deciding on flora.
“We included a variety in ours, we have flowers along with herbs, juniper, ferns, things we bought and things we found outside,” she said.
Member Jean Danforth said her team met at the library to talk about the piece before coming to a consensus on flower types.
“Since, we’ve done sort-of dress rehearsals where we put the flower pieces together,” she said.
Some of the floral designs accent the pieces, others imitate, but they all need to be created just before they are exhibited, Thursday morning the teams gathered to make their designs and present them.
“The materials are gathered and prepared in the moment, it’s like doing an installation, they’re sort-of spontaneous,” said member Marion Cerra.
Art in Bloom, and the partnership between the library and club, has been an enjoyable learning experience, Temple said. She said she wants to make it an annual event.
The exhibit is free and will be open today and tomorrow during library hours. Lawrence Library is located at 15 Main Street in Pepperell. Saturday, Earth Day, will also feature a seed planting class focusing on edible plants hosted by the club at 10 a.m., a magic show at 10:30 a.m., an opening reception for photographer Steve St. Lawrence from 12 to 2 p.m. and a musical performance by the Russell Hill band from 7 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call 978-433-0330 or visit the library website at www.lawrencelibrary.org.
Follow Luke Steere at twitter.com/LSNashobaPub.