WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Leading floral designers in North and South Carolina gathered this weekend in Wrightsville Beach to showcase their floral creations inspired by fine art.
“Art & The Bloom was an overwhelming success amidst the difficult challenges of the times,” said project Chair Barb Bittler. “This event would not be possible without the support of our floral designers, artists, sponsors, donors, and Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Our garden clubs look forward to the many ways we will be able to give back to our community through the proceeds of Art & The Bloom.”
New Hanover and Harbor Island Garden Clubs organized the fifth annual Art & The Bloom exhibition and competition, including expert demonstrations and workshops in floral design, floral collage and culinary art, jewelry fashion shows, gallery art sales by the Wilmington Art Association, and nationally renowned vendors.
2022’s top Art & The Bloom floral designers:
First Place Award (above): Melanie Wyatt, Mount Pleasant, SC – “My inspiration for this design is the black tree in the center of the painting. I am using a black contemporary sculpture as my main container. The design complements the piece of art as the materials mimic the colors. Components selected are a variety of colors from black to gray and yellow to several shades of green; blue-green, dark green, yellow-green, and gray-green.” (Artwork by Sterling Edwards / Southern Roots)
Second Place Award (above): Rachel Rawls, Lady Banks Garden Club, Dudley, NC – “My focus was on the colors and textures in the painting. I used plant material from my yard. The sago palm represents the lines of the house. The white pampas grass reflects the colors of the house. Yellow and orange garlic heads provide the traditional line design. I used hydrangea and dried umbrella plant to represent the grass.” (Artwork by John Haug / Country Dawn)
“Rachel Rawls, our Second Place Award winner is 93, and still is active in her garden club – even teaching flower design to other clubs,” said Barb Bittler. “Rachel grew all of the plant material she used in her design in her own yard and dried it. She even turned the base for her design on a lathe. She truly is a remarkable woman.”
Third Place Award (above): Marietta Gwathmey, Wilmington, NC – “Following the linear details and the colors of this art piece, I used a square wooden container painted with copper paint. The flowers, similar in color to the hanging squares, are arranged in square ‘compartments’ within the container. Copper tubing and copper wire mimics the copper used in the artwork.” (Artwork by Sarah Sheffield / Color Burst)
People’s Choice Award and Best Use of Color Award (above): Sherry Jeffries, Coastal Garden Club, Bolivia, NC – “The art piece is a study of depth perception. Inspired by the painting, my design shows the depth depicted by the plant material I chose.” (Artwork by Joanne Geisel / Nature’s Estuary)
Judging this year’s competitions were National Garden Club Judge and Flower Show School Instructor Judy Binns, and North Carolina’s Bill Hamilton, winner of numerous awards including the 2015 EPIC Tabletop Award, Best Themed Décor Award, and the Best Team Event Award.
New Hanover Garden Club and the Harbor Island Garden Club are federated through the National Garden Club and Garden Clubs of North Carolina. The event’s proceeds will benefit gardening projects for nonprofit organizations and student scholarships. Blockade Runner Beach Resort hosted all activities.
Barb Bittler, Chair, Art & The Bloom
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