This is Erin Barker’s second time participating in Art in Bloom. This year, her floral arranger was her neighbor. Photo courtesy of Erin Barker.
By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Needham’s Art in Bloom can officially be deemed a time-honored tradition within town after its ninth annual year. This year’s celebration, on March 3, 4, and 5, was a bounding success. Housed primarily within the Needham Library, 68 pairings of art and flowers were spread throughout the building. In addition, every hour on the hour, there was a live floral and art demonstration on the Community Room. Community members, student artists, their parents, and the florists wandered throughout the pieces, marveling at their beauty.
Helena, a Needham High School ninth grader, said, “It’s just really cool to see how the arranger interpreted my piece.” The student artists don’t know which pieces are going to be selected, so it is very much a nice surprise for them to find out.
“That’s what our goal is – to make it so that the kids are excited,” said Sue Kaplan, an Art in Bloom co-chair. While it is definitely exciting for the kids, it is also exciting for viewers. The student pieces are amazing on their own and only become more impressive with the addition of the gorgeous and creative floral arrangements.
Erin, a Needham High School senior, spoke a little bit about her piece. “I’m not very good with sculpture - I’m definitely a painter. And I was really stuck on what to do, but then my art teacher brought out this big board and I kind of ran with it, so I glued the book on to the board and I worked with what I was used to.” The woman who did her floral arrangement was her neighbor, and so they were able to collaborate beyond the usual artist/arranger relationship. “I was able to talk to her and I had a few leftover pieces from the atlas and I gave them to her. She was able to make little flowers out of the paper.” Kaplan mentioned that her neighbor specifically asked for Erin’s piece to interpret. Erin’s mom was thrilled that this was not only an honor for her daughter, but also a community bonding experience.
Needham’s Art in Bloom, presented by the Beth Shalom Garden Club, was recently honored with an Exemplary Project Award from the Goldin Foundation for Excellence in Education. This award recognizes the creative and innovative aspects of the program, as well as all of its valuable benefits.