Close to 200 people gathered at The Wakefield Foundation Saturday to socialize and critique both original art work and creative floral designs on display.
The 29th Annual Flower and Art Show welcomed the crowd to an evening reception, officially kicking off the event and offering a chance for fresh eyes to view paintings and photography aimed at sending a message. The aroma of fresh floral arrangements added greatly to the atmosphere already filled with energy and expectations of a job well done.
Show organizers mingled through a room of artists, floral designers, community friends, and event volunteers on May 7th as they tried to keep the night flowing on schedule. A full table of food, a stunning floral centerpiece, glasses of red sangria, and a strong interest in art and flowers created a comfortable blend of conversation and debate.
“For a lot of people, this is the only show they participate in,” shared George Williams, Flower and Art Show Chairman. “Some people produce a piece a year just for this show.”
Williams explained that, after a total of 17 years of chairing the Wakefield event, he feels well acquainted with the necessary preparations and the anticipated public. However, he also recognized a familiar challenged faced year after year: finding volunteers. “The thing right now is there’s not anybody who wants to take over the job,” referring to his own position. “That’s the way it is with all the jobs here.”
Nonetheless, Joan Drewry, Wakefield Foundation President, reassured the chairman of his worthy contribution. “Once you do it after all this many years, with the reception and all, you sort of know what you’re doing,” she laughed. The two veteran organizers shared that they rely on the talent of artists and designers from years’ past as well as promising newcomers to truly make the show a success. “Everything has to do with the art and the artists and hanging the show,” said Williams.
And according to judges of the event’s art work and floral arrangements, artist Michael Martin and designer Carol Fly take top honors. Competitors, like H. Binford Harrell of Wakefield, noted that you never know what might spark your inspiration. His art submission earned him a Second Place ribbon, which he admitted, almost ended up in the garbage. “This one was just kind of an accident,” explained Harrell. “I was getting ready to throw some cardboard away, and I looked at it and saw something in it.”
The artist shared that he originally directed his talent towards advertisement, which drained much of his motivation away from creative design. But after dedicating 20 years now to his passion, turning a discarded piece of cardboard into a winning piece of art brings little surprise. “Some of it was torn. Some of it I actually cut. It just kind of happened.”
Harrell’s finished work displays the shape of a flower and blue vase accented with the application of bright, vibrant colors, far from what was once a dingy, brown box. A floral arrangement, carefully designed to compliment his art, draws even more attention to the small corner of the foundation’s reception room where Harrell’s creation hangs.
Organizers hope the surrounding community will visit The Wakefield Foundation to view the displays and support the non-profit group, noting that the event goes on through May 20th. Meanwhile, Harrell reminds artists to keep painting and drawing on a daily basis while maintaining a healthy mindset. “Do what pleases you.”
Featured Image: This selection was chosen for Best in Show for floral design. Credit: Jennifer Hoyt