Making Connections

onna Lane
Joseph Waitekus and Debbie Wells
Issue Date: 
May, 2019
Article Body: 

The weather was perfect. It was a cool spring day and, for a change, it did not rain. If you were one of the 300-plus people who attended the Norwood Evening Garden Club’s 15th Art in Bloom at the George H. Morse House, you would have seen firsthand the varied works of student artists from Norwood and Walpole High Schools. You would also have seen an array of floral designs interpreting them.
“The whole event was lovely!” Morse House Executive Director Dale Day said. “I’ve become more impressed every year and truly look forward to it each spring.”
Some of the connections between the art and flowers were obvious; others were not. Visitors asked docents, “What was the artist’s intent?” And although the student artists made statements about their art to help the designers understand it, some only told of the technique they used rather than what they were feeling or what prompted their expression.
According to Nancy Costa, chairman of the event, people studied both the arrangements and artwork more closely this year, which is why there were more questions than usual about artist intent.
“I think it was because we added a People’s Choice award which asked ‘Which piece of art and floral design complemented each other best?’” Costa said.
The winner of the People’s Choice award was club member Anne Marie Bielenin who interpreted the sculpture of Walpole artist Moira Byrne.
Bryne’s statement read in part, “While working on this piece, I had no idea where it was going in the beginning. In fact, the original color scheme was completely different from what it is now, and was leaning towards the color choices a kindergartner would make. I wanted the structure to be unique from my peers' choices of tubular structures, so I constructed the most abstract form I could think of.” [photo 1]
Shirley Booth interpreted the colorful digital print by Norwood High artist Alyssa Lahaise whose statement read:
“In a twist on the Disney classic, Alice in Wonderland, rather than falling down the rabbit hole because of curiosity, an infatuated fan-girl Alice chases the White Rabbit after falling in love at first sight. Desperately chasing after her White Rabbit, she voluntarily follows him down into a pit of wonder, insanity, and despair.” [photo 2]
Norwood student Mary Marinucci’s mixed media piece depicts deforestation crumbling into urbanization, a serious and timely topic. The artist’s statement read in part:
“The hourglass is a symbol that it’s only a matter of time until everything at the top is gone.” Susan Cosman provided the beautiful floral interpretation. [photo 3]
Norwood artist Emma Senna’s oil pastel on paper:
“ meant to bring warm and cold together as one in order to show balance…” Lynn Fordham captured the essence of the art not only with her choice of flowers but also with the accessories she selected. [photo 8]
Walpole artist Rachael Smith depicts another serious topic. In her piece, she wanted to”
“address the underrated issue of overfishing of our oceans. Overfishing has become one of the biggest tragedies ... it’s a resource that is widely abused and the regulations for fishing are little to none. The whole idea for this piece was to create a sense of urgency with multiple fishing lines and the seemingly endless amount of fish being pulled from the water. I wanted the viewer to see the mass of fish and have it change the way they see our food industry and the fact that not all food is ethically sourced. I painted the fish layered on one another to get the sense of how fish are usually displayed at the grocery store, but I also let the fishing lines have slack to symbolize the fact that we still have time to fix our oceans if awareness is brought to the subject.” Who says today’s kids just think about kid’s things! The floral piece was done by Janice Mullen. [photo 14]
Walpole artist Joseph Waitekus created a hyper-realistic self-portrait that was interpreted by club member Debbie Wells. [photo 23]
Designer Julie Stenson and Norwood artist Tara Bilotta pose with their complementary pieces. [photo 19]
If you didn’t make it to this year’s Art in Bloom, keep it in mind for next year when 24 artists from Norwood and Walpole and 24 members of the Norwood Evening Garden Club will once again connect with members of the community to welcome spring.
Donna Lane is a Norwood-based writer, lecturer and designer. You can reach her at [email protected].