PORT ANGELES — Art in Bloom, a special pop-up event scheduled at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, will feature colorful floral designs in response to the center’s current exhibition of art by founder Esther Webster.
On Saturday and Sunday, visitors to the gallery at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., will be able to enjoy original floral designs paired with the dramatic paintings that inspired them. Art in Bloom will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to the public.
This year’s event is scheduled earlier than usual in order to coordinate with the Creating a Scene exhibition; Art in Bloom will return to Mother’s Day weekend in 2022.
Eight of the Peninsula’s floral designers will use flowers, greenery, and other natural materials to create original arrangements in response to artwork and artifacts in the exhibit. Over the past few weeks, the designers have visited the gallery to select and study the artwork that will inspire their designs. They will put their designs together today.
Designers participating in this year’s event are Bernice Cook, Tina Cozzolino, Pam Ehtee, Billie Fitch, Leiann Niccoli, Mary Lou Paulsen, Mary Lou Waitz and Patty Wheatley.
All are members of the Olympic Peninsula Judges Council of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs. They hold certificates in floral design and judging.
“The women passed rigorous classes and are certified judges of floral and horticultural displays,” Cook said. “They are well-versed in various designs and create works to line, line-mass, and mass styles following guidelines established by the National Garden Club.”
Designing in response to original artwork provides these experienced designers with an opportunity to break new ground. “This is our chance to break some rules,” Fitch said, in a playful reminder that in floral design, as in art-making, it’s important to learn the rules before you break them.
Art in Bloom began in 2004 as the vision of longtime art center board member and volunteer Mim Foley, who participated in the event until she died in 2010.
Since then, her family and friends have kept her memory and vision alive by establishing a memorial fund to ensure that Art in Bloom will continue.
Foley’s daughter, Irene Alltucker, describes Art in Bloom as “a family activity that combined [Mim’s] two great loves: gardening and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.”
Creating a Scene: The Legacy and Vision of Esther Webster will be on display through April 25 at the center.
The center’s next exhibition, Conservation From Here, is jointly hosted by the arts center and Olympic National Park; two installations featuring aluminum elk are already on display at the ONP Visitor Center in Port Angeles and at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. The interior portion of the exhibit is scheduled to open May 8 in the Arts Center’s Esther Webster Gallery.
The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday; admission is free by donation. Those interested in visiting, volunteering, or participating in future events may learn more at pafac.org.