Friday, February 25, 2011

Capturing the Magic: It's Flower Show Time in Connecticut

View fine art and flowers at the CHS exhibit
Show photos: Kevin Wilcox
The 2011 Connecticut flower show is underway, and CHS Flower Show Chair Nancy Brennick and her tireless team of volunteers has created a stunning exhibit that inspires visitors to "capture the magic" of CHS membership.

The CHS exhibit won the American Horticultural Society's prestigious environmental award.  The judges said the display demonstrates skillful design that incorporates principles of environmental stewardship.

The jewel amid the plants is a painted steel sculpture by renowned American sculptor and CHS member David Hayes of Coventry, Conn.

"Amazing how it almost dances -- and how cool yet organic -- almost in flight -- the metallic blades look juxtaposed against all the welcome lushness of a springtime to come,"  The Hartford Courant's Nancy Schoeffler wrote in her blog.

David created the abstract piece, Screen Sculpture, from welded steel and drew his inspiration as he always does from the shapes found in nature. The sculpture stands just under four feet tall, and is 26 inches wide and 13 inches deep.

He  loaned the piece to the CHS exhibit after Nancy Brennick and her colleagues found their design lacking and approached him for ideas.

“We are thrilled that this famous master sculptor agreed to work with us,” said Nancy, who the society's vice president. “This elegant sculpture provides the perfect focal point for our display of more than 600 spring-flowering bulbs, 200 perennials and 35 shrubs and trees. The matte gray blades contrast with the lightness of the plants in a stunning way, enhancing their attributes.”

David's work has been seen in more than 300 exhibitions worldwide and in more than 100 institutional collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

He was born in Hartford and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s of fine arts degree from Indiana University. He received a post-doctoral Fulbright award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a recipient of the Logan Prize for Sculpture and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2007, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. Read more about David and his work.

CHS has been a premier exhibitor in the landscape section of the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show for more than 30 years. The society invites visitors to embrace the show theme and "Capture the Magic" by becoming CHS members and growing, learning and traveling with the nonprofit, volunteer organization.

The flower show runs through Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Show hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. through Saturday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Visit ctflowershow. 

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