Art in Bloom set at Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Exhibit will pair local flowers with artwork

Art in Bloom, a Mother’s Day weekend exhibition at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, combines artwork with fresh floral arrangements such as these displayed at the center in 2021. The free exhibition will be open this Saturday and Sunday. (Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

Art in Bloom, a Mother’s Day weekend exhibition at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, combines artwork with fresh floral arrangements such as these displayed at the center in 2021. The free exhibition will be open this Saturday and Sunday. (Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

PORT ANGELES — A flower bar, a pansy-planting station and a brand-new mural will be part of Art in Bloom, the annual exhibition to open this weekend at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Admission is free to the display of freshly arranged flowers, each of which is inspired by artwork in the PAFAC’s “Science Stories” exhibit.

Art in Bloom will be on display in the center’s Esther Webster Gallery from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Another fresh work of art is also taking shape: a pop-up mural by Port Angeles illustrator Cammry Lapka. She’s turning the piece of plywood covering the center’s front window frame — where a burglar broke the window in April — into her art canvas.

“When we realized that the glass replacement might take awhile, we decided to reach out to local artists to see if we could throw a bit of creative ingenuity at the problem of the unsightly plywood,” Christine Loewe, the center’s executive director, said on Sunday.

“She is volunteering her time and artistic skill this week,” Loewe said, adding Lapka has been painting for the past three days.

Four artist books from the “Science Stories” show were stolen in the burglary, Loewe said, along with specimens from the Slater Museum of Natural History component of the exhibition.

“We were able to rearrange and still have a full exhibit,” Loewe said.

The arts center had no lapse in its hours of operation after the burglary, she added.

Loewe came to work Monday morning, April 18, to find the shattered window, and was able to open the gallery later that week for its usual hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Loewe, along with the center’s staff and volunteers, has created two new activities for this year’s Art in Bloom. First, the flower bar is for those who want to try their hand at making their own floral arrangements in the PAFAC’s courtyard.

Tickets include a vessel, locally grown flowers, all necessary tools and basic instruction for creating an arrangement to take home. Advance purchase is recommended at https://pafac.kindful.com/e/flowerbar, since the activity will be open only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday.

Tickets are $30 for PAFAC members and $35 for the general public, with proceeds supporting local flower farmers and arts center programming.

For children, the Plant-a-Pansy station will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Kids 12 and younger can decorate their own miniature pots and learn how to plant flowers. There’s no cost to participate; the Airport Garden Center has donated flowers for the planting station.

All of this surrounds a springtime tradition at the PAFAC. Art in Bloom, begun in 2004, was the vision of devoted board member and volunteer Mim Foley, who took part in the event until her untimely passing in 2010.

On May 5 of that year, just after Mother’s Day, Foley died in a car wreck a block away from the arts center. Foley’s husband Bud and their family and friends established a memorial fund to ensure Art in Bloom would continue. Bud died in 2016, but Art in Bloom has carried on.

Loewe expressed her gratitude to the variety of people supporting Art in Bloom this spring: the Port Angeles Garden Club, a longstanding partner, along with Tin Can Floral, River’s Edge Farmstead and the Airport Garden Center, which has shared flowers and floral designs with the PAFAC.

Participating in this year’s Art in Bloom main event are members of the Olympic Peninsula Judges Council of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs, including Pamela Ehtee, Billie Fitch, Bernice Cook, Patty Wheatley, Tina Cozzolino, Mary Lou Paulson and Linda Nutter. All hold certificates in floral design and judging.

Designers Julia Ahrndt, Jenny Edwards and Sandy Giles from Tin Can Floral and River’s Edge Farmstead will also display their designs in the gallery.

Foley’s daughter, Irene Alltucker, recalled her hopes for this weekend’s event.

“My mother wanted to spend Mother’s Day weekend with a family activity that combined her two great loves: gardening and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center,” Alltucker said.

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Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz @peninsuladailynews.com.

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