Monday, February 25, 2013

New York in Bloom 2013, part two

New York in Bloom, the New York State Museum's annual fundraiser for its award-winning after-school programs, wrapped up yesterday.  Unfortunately, I had an early meeting this morning and didn't get the chance to finish this post before I headed to bed.

I devoted Saturday's post to the State Museum's West Hall, which houses the Beneath the City: An Archaeological Perspective of Albany and The Adirondack Wilderness exhibits, and to part of its South Hall, which houses the permanent Native Peoples of New York exhibit and two temporary exhibits.   I planned to devote this post to the remaining South Hall displays and to the East Hall, which focuses, for the most part, on the rise of New York City, but in impulse I decided to dash through the West Hall and revisit a couple of arrangements that I photographed badly on Saturday.

I'm glad I did.  I somehow missed this lovely arrangement, which Olive Felio of the Greenbush Garden Club created using willow, 5mm star gysophilia, mini carnations, asters, solidago yellow, and stock.  It's one of my favorites.

This is one of my reshoots.  Independent designer Andy Cyntrynak brought together cedar boughs, red and white roses, white mums, pussy willow, fantail pussy willow, a beehive, fuzzy bees, and many, many teddy bears.  It was a huge hit with the State Museum's youngest visitors, and the bowl of honey that Pooh is contemplating is actually a beaded beeswax.  It was heated from within and gave off a glorious scent. 

Moving right along to the South Hall . . . .

At the moment, the South Hall's Exhibition Hall is occupied by An Irrepressible Conflict:  The Empire State in the Civil War (closes 22 September 2013), which documents New York's contributions of men, materiel, and money to the war effort and draws upon the collections of not only the State Museum but also the State Archives and State Library and cultural heritage institutions throughout the state. Pam Taft of the Bethlehem Garden Club situated this arrangement of roses, hypericum, snapdragons, delphinium, and laurel in the section of the exhibit devoted to antebellum New York.

Independent designer Pat "Peach" Tobin's arrangement of delphinium, stock, carnations, leather leaf fern, and curly willow beautifully complimented a broadside documenting an 1860 Albany County appearance made by Abraham Lincoln and other Republican candidates and a lifemask and portrait of Lincoln.

 The Crossroads Gallery is a small temporary exhibit space that sits where the South Hall and the East Hall meet, and until yesterday it was home to Seneca Ray Stoddard: Capturing the Adirondacks.  Stoddard was one of the first photographers to document the Adirondacks, and the images he created helped to make the region a popular tourist destination.  Meg Bugler of the Capital Region Career and Technical School, Van Rensselaer Garden Club, and Meg Bugler Floral Design used tree fern, bear grass, lemon leaf, curely willow, pussy willow, forsythia, tulips, liatris, seeded eucalyptus, spider mums, sweet William, lily, pine cones to create an arrangement that welcomed visitors to the gallery.  Capital Region Career and Technical School students built and finished the Adirondack chair.

Linda Savage of W&P Enterprises created this tourist-themed arrangement of alstromeria, eucalyptus, leather leaf fern, godetia, tea roses, baby's breath, juniper, palm, mums, spider mums, asparagus fern, and curly willow.

I was particularly taken by this simple yet dramatic arrangement that Jessica Mason of Felthausen's Florist created.  It brings together liatris, iris, white Monte Casino, sheet moss, and pussy willow.

The Metropolis Hall exhibit that occupies most of the East Hall focuses first on the natural environment.  The arrangement that Sue Hankamp of the Bill Doran Company created using kalanchoe, phalaenopsis orchid, croton, sansviera laurentii, hedera, and other plants exemplified the diversity of plant life that can be found in vacant city lots.  (It also honored Whiskers Animal Benevolent League, which is dedicated to humanely stabilizing Albany's feral cat population and finding forever homes for the displaced house cats that end up living on the edge of feral colonies.  One of my cats came to me via Whiskers, and I can attest to the good work Whiskers does.)

Here's a detail of Sue Hankamp's arrangement. Love it!

Andrew Koehn of the Mohonk Mountain House placed this arrangement of cymbidium orchids, red aranal calla lily, peony, flowered tulips, rananculus, leucadendron, agonis, seeded eucalyptus, maiden grass, wisteria branches, and lotus pods in front of the skeleton of an Atlantic right whale.

This dramatic, crowd-pleasing arrangement by Karen Ann Campbell of Henry F. Clas Florist splendidly complements a reconstruction of a Lenape dwelling.  It bamboo, bear grass, carnation, chrysanthemum, delphinium, eucalyptus, feathers, heather, hypericum, huckleberry, laurel, raffia, roses, sphagnum moss, and statice.

One of the galleries in the South Hall documents the rise of New York as a port city, and Diane Madden of Greenbush Garden Club used alstromeria, carnations, chrysanthemums, delphinium, ferns, and gypsophila to create this evocative arrangement.

Peter Scranton of the Schenectady ARC created a simple, delightfully spring-like arrangement of tulips, iris, lilies, statice, chrysanthemums, pussy willow, and lemon leaf.

Beverly J. Kallner of the Garden Club of Kinderhook used football mums, mums, alstromeria, wax flower, larkspur, fern, and lemon leaf in a tableau that highlights the imported goods that arrived in New York in the 18th century.

This arrangement of parrot tulips, French tulips, snapdragon, leucadendron, hypericum berries, and aspidistra complemented a panel documenting New York City's growth.  It was created by Louise Kavanaugh of the Bethlehem Garden Club.

This reconstruction of a 19th-century open air market was a most appropriate site for the arrangement that Dee Foley of the Bethlehem Garden Club created:  it features Bibb lettuce, orange unique roses, baby green hydrangea, hypericum berries, carnations, miniature sunflower, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, pears, garlic, and onions.

The 19th-century barbershop always inspires whimsy, and Sue Dillhoff of the Greenport Garden Club used yellow spray rose, dianthus, Spanish moss, Viking chrysanthemum, and solidago to create this sweetly amusing arrangement.

Arnie Maliszcewski of The Country Florist created a compelling arrangement of Asiatic lily, trachilium, bear grass, carnation, ruscus, and seeded eucalyptus to complement the Tuck High Company storefront, which highlights the development of New York City's Chinatown.

The Black Capital:  Harlem in the 1920s gallery consistently inspires dramatic arrangements.  Cynthia E. Campbell of the Blue Creek Garden Club created this stunning array of gladiolas, lilies, bells of Ireland, spider mums, amaranthus, sansviera, aspidistra, contorted willow, magnolia leaves, and baseball bats.

Independent designer Lisa Santoso's arrangement features Asiatic lily, Gerbera daisy, leucadendron, pincushion protea, wax flower, spray aster, seeded eucalyptus, and bear grass. The papier-mache figure is made of sheets of paper that describe the Harlem Renaissance as "a flowering of music, art, and literature."

This very orange arrangement complements a very orange 1929 taxicab.  It was created by Audrey Hawkins of -- fittingly -- the Fort Orange Garden Club.  It consists of alstromeria, mums, button mums, solidago "Tara," seeded eucalyptus, hypericum, and achillea.

As I mentioned in my last post, the I was surprised by the absence of the "tablescapes" -- a word often used by the governor's girlfriend -- that occupied the Bird Hall in years past.  However, yesterday I noted that the tablescapes hadn't gone away; they had merely moved into the South Hall.  Donald Bennett of White Cottage Gardens used cymbidium orchids, carnations, magnolia leaves, and sumac branches to create a very modern tablescape in a small gallery chronicling the city's development.

The little arrangement of carnations, roses, snapdragons, loosestrife, chrysanthemums that Anthony Macarelli of the New York in Bloom Commitee created was perfectly suited to a gallery documenting the development of skyscrapers.

Craig Waltz of Fleurelite Floral Design always produces striking arrangements, and this ensemble of anthurium, liatris, horsetail, orchids, hala leaf, and anthurium leaf beautifully complements Paul Goldberg's Robert Moses (1988).

Maureen Peters of Ambiance Florals and Events created a striking grouping of arrangements of carnation, rose, lily, delphinium, heather, bells of Ireland, pussy willow, daisy, Italian ruscus, and variegated pittosporum for the State Museum's Sesame Street exhibit.  Oscar the Grouch didn't seem to be too miserable about the arrangement placed next to his trash can.

The Fire Engine Hall occupies the southern corner of the East Hall.  It's a perennial favorite of the State Museum's youngest visitors, and it inspires some interesting arrangements.  This striking composition was created by Webelo 2 of Cub Scout Pack 528 (Poestenkill, NY) with, I presume, some adult assistance.  It features carnations, liatris, spider mums, Gerbera daisies, yellow daisies, and freesia.  The stones at its foot spell out the word "brave."

I was quite fond of this small but extremely attractive arrangement, which was created by Melli Rose of LUSH Floral Design and consists of iris, bird of paradise, circus rose, and spray rose.

Yetta Teo of Greenport Garden Club created this stunning arrangement of bird of paradise, seeded eucalyptus, mini carnations, pincushion protea, Italian ruscus, myrtle, hypericum, ting ting, Spanish moss, and bear grass.  It looked right at home amidst the 19th-century fire engines.

When I came to work today, "Once Upon a Time," David Michael Schmidt's mammoth main lobby installation, was being dismantled.  All other traces of New York in Bloom had vanished.  It's always sad to see New York in Bloom go, but I'm glad that the State Museum's after-school programs will continue to give children and teens who live in Albany's roughest neighborhoods the intensive academic, social, and personal support that they need -- and deserve.  And in just a few short weeks, New York really will be in bloom.

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