Saturday, February 20, 2010

New York in Bloom, day one

This arrangement, created by Mary Bohnet of the Capital District Sogetsu Study Group, was selected for display in the lobby of the State Museum. It consists of areca palm fronds, pittesporum, robina lilies, oneidium orchids, and mitsumata.

New York in Bloom, the New York State Museum's annual fundraiser for its after-school programs, opened yesterday. Over 100 floral arrangements designed to complement the exhibits have been installed throughout the galleries, and attendees can stop by a flower market, attend classes in floral arranging, and take part in all kinds of other activities.

Although New York's Capital District has had very little snow this year -- to date, all of the mammoth storms that have slammed the Mid-Atlantic states have hewed pretty closely to the coastline -- New York in Bloom is always a welcome harbinger of spring. Moreover, I really can't say enough good things about the State Museum's after-school programs, which target children and teenagers living in Albany's least affluent neighborhoods. These programs provide intensive academic support (adults guide the teenagers, and the teenagers get a small stipend for tutoring the younger kids), educational field trips, help with college visits and applications, and lots of hands-on learning using the Museum's collections. To date, every boy and girl enrolled in the program for teens has gone on to graduate from high school, and 92 percent of them have gotten into college.

I'm heading back to New York in Bloom in a little while, but in the meantime here's a little taste of what anyone who visits the State Museum today or tomorrow will see.

A panoramic photograph of Ellis Island and lower Manhattan sits at one of the entryways to the 20th-century segment of the State Museum's New York Metropolis gallery. The arrangement, created by Evan Euripidou of Anthology Studio, consists of solidago, trachellium, Italian ruscus, Israeli ruscus, Scotch broom, Monstera leaves, and curly willow.

This arrangement, which was created by Michael Harbison of Ambiance Florals and Events, features citrus roses, blooming pear branches, and sea star ferns. It nicely complements Donald Judd's untitled sculpture in the New York Metropolis gallery.

This arrangement consists of gerbera daisies, myrtle, and rosemary and was created by Linda Montanaro of the Capital Hudson Iris Society. It is tucked into a corner of the New York Metropolis gallery.

The New York Metropolis display of luxury goods that a Fifth Avenue department store would have sold in the 1920s is nicely complemented by this arrangement, which was created by Beverly Kallher of the Kinderhook Garden Club. Kallher used baby's breath, white roses, carnations, lemon leaves, seeded eucalyptus, and hypericum berries.

I've seen maybe a third of the arrangements, so I haven't yet picked an overall favorite. However, this luscious beauty is definitely going to be in the running. Barbara Turpin of Small Yet Elegant Events created it for a corner of the New York Metropolis gallery devoted to the shipping trade. It features yellow lilies, yellow and white cushion mums, burgundy snapdragons, off-white roses, yellow alstroemeria, misty blue limonium, hypericum, ruscus leaves, and salal leaves.

Another arrangement in the shipping trade display, this one created by Tammy Jobmann of the Pawling Flower Shop. It consists of roses, thistle, parrot tulips, hydrangea, protea, delphinium, galax leaves, bear grass, grapevine, ruscus, variegated pitt, and hypericum berries.

Maria Kolodziej-Zincio of the Greenport Garden Club used Asiatic lillies, snapdragons, anemones, parrot tulips, ming ferns, and eucalyptus to create this arrangement, which sits opposite a New York Metropolis display of colonial and early republican stoneware.

More coming soon . . . .

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