Paintings and Petals: Art Blooms at Annmarie Gardens

By Molly Weeks Crumbley

“In a time when our nation is still emerging from a world-wide health crisis, the current strains of economic fluctuations and the challenges of life in general, the beauty and enjoyment we receive from art exhibits such as this are invaluable,” wrote Maryland representative Steny Hoyer in a recent declaration. “Art gives meaning to our lives and gives us perspective. To that, I am deeply thankful for the efforts of Ann’s Circle and the Calvert Garden Club.”

The efforts that Hoyer referred to were on full display at the Art Blooms exhibit at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center last weekend. Now in its 13th season, Art Blooms remains a popular annual event challenging Calvert Garden Club members to create a floral arrangement based on a specific piece of artwork. This year, more than 25 participants crafted their blooms based on the two current exhibits at the Annmarie Gardens Main and Daugherty Galleries: I’ll Be There: An Exhibition About Love and Strange Paradise: A Window into Surrealism. The floral sculptures were displayed July 9 through 11.

I’ll Be There is on display in the Main Gallery until Aug. 28. It was curated by juror Colleen Morith, who wrote, “The artists in this show all expressed what love means to them—desire, happiness, growth of self, grief at the loss of great love, and the joy of love.”

Strange Paradise is on exhibit in the Daugherty Gallery until Sept. 22, curated by juror Anne Hyland. “The artists exemplify this exciting exploration of the mind and creation found in classic surrealist works but breathe new life into the movement in their work,” writes Hyland.

No two pieces were alike at Art Blooms; each arrangement varied in height, color, and technique. “The exciting thing is to see the very personal and creative ideas that are expressed with flowers,” says Andrea Kroll, the Calvert Garden Club corresponding secretary. “Art affects each of us differently and I love to see all the different ideas and how the art spoke to the floral arranger.”

Kroll was one of this year’s floral arrangers—her third time participating in Art Blooms. “My arrangement was for the painting entitled ‘Desire like a Storm’ and I thought about it quite a bit. I read the artist notes about love and seduction. I thought about how to design it, thinking whether it should be tall or flat,” Kroll said.

Inspired by colorful hydrangeas in her yard, Kroll ultimately landed on the idea of creating a floral gift box for her arrangement. Calvert Garden Club offers monthly floral workshops that have helped Kroll and many others to hone their skills. In addition to Art Blooms, the club also creates monthly arrangements for Calvert Nursing Home and partners annually with Calvert Library for its Books in Bloom series of literature-themed floral displays.

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