GCA flower shows are alive and well in New York State, where Zone III has a show each week until July. This past week, Fort Orange Garden Club produced FINE POINTS, a handsome show displayed in museum galleries in the heart of downtown Albany. The Albany Institute of History and Art was founded in 1791. It’s collections represent the historic and cultural riches of the upper Hudson Valley.
Botanical Arts Division classes reflected many of the objects in the museum’s collection. “Cache” was won with this colorful and whimsical design in Botanical Embellishment. The dragon slides sinuously out of the slightly opened box. In embellishment classes, the box or other object doesn’t need to be completely concealed.
“The Lady of the Nile” class called for a necklace. The current show “The Mummies of Albany” is reflected in this beautiful first prize necklace which also won Best in Show in Botanical Arts. All that you see is dried plant material, beautifully crafted and finished like real jewelry.
A matte white tile was supplied for “Accent on a Dutch Motif”. This first place winning designer used pressed petal and leaves to create this design, inspired by a Pennsylvania Dutch fraktur in her family’s heritage. The vibrant colors of the materials were used naturally.
The floral design classes in FINE POINTS reflected the area and the elements of design used by the artists in the museum’s collection. “In Reserve: The Dutchess Wine Trail moves along the Hudson Valley” challenged designers to serve up some wine in a functional table design. The blue ribbon winner floated a modern design above the grapes and glasses.
The ever-expanding collection of contemporary art in the museum furnished the idea of this class called “Avant-garde: pushing the boundaries of the status quo”. Black mesh ribbon along with a inverted mess form are set off with bright yellow gerbera and Craspedia globoso.
“Brushstrokes: the artist is granted free license in creating his masterpiece” elicited some of the most clever interpretations of the show. This towering first place design is hard to see versus its background but the grand gesture of the brushstrokes are dynamic and clear.
Miniature design classes are especially challenging which is why I am always surprised that so many novice designers enter them. Perhaps since they have to be no larger than 5”, they seem to be easy. “Miniutiae: within the touch of the artist” was won by this design with its diminutive artist’s palette and red paint brush just visible in the vase.
Best In Show in Floral Design and the Harriet DeWaele Puckett Creativity Award went to this imaginative design in “Alternatives: George Rickey set art in motion with his kinetic sculpture”. Hanging in the foyer, Etoile Variation V, a George Rickey sculpture was the inspiration for the designers in this class. This well- balanced design gently moved, creating always interesting variations of itself… a tour de force of well-crafted ingenuity in a class which earned a Judges Commendation.
Congratulations to all the winners! Cheers!