The “Arts in Bloom” at the Algoma Art Gallery

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“Be engaged. Be opened minded” was what Art Gallery of Algoma director Jasmina Jovanovic wanted Sault Ste. Marie patrons to take back from Art in Bloom.

The Art Gallery of Algoma welcomed in members and non-members to their event Friday night that was accompanied by live music and dinner.

Artists are tasked with finding one piece of art from the AGA’s collection, and then create an original arrangement of flowers and other decoratives to match the art.

“The artworks for this exhibition were selected from our permanent collection based on the use of colour and shapes, some more obvious, some challenging, some more inspiring choices – all to be an inspiration for floral creations.” states the AGA website.

The Art in Bloom exhibitions are a staple across North American art galleries, but first originated in Boston’s Fine Arts Museum in 1976.

SaultOnline stopped by Friday to speak with some artists on their creations for this years installment of Art in Bloom.

Emma Burns, owner of “The Flower Shop” chose Kevin Sonmor’s Living with Pistols from 1992.

“It’s a haunting piece, I thought about it for a few days and I think he did an excellent job.” “ I always pick the darker ones, they make me think. I want to know what the artist is thinking.”. Depicted in the photo appears to be a deer who has been hunted and left for dead.

Last year, Burns had the idea of auctioning off the arrangements created for the event to help put some money back into the AGA.

“They went honestly in minutes, and made them some good money. That’s why it’s carried on this year. They want to keep them in the gallery for the exhibit, but will be reproduced so the winning bidder will receive a fresh arrangement”.

Some of the flowers are alive, while some artists prefer to use purely artificial pieces.

Richards (left) and Gudrun (right) stand proudly in front of the photo they chose and their arrangement

Gudrun Schatzler and Shirley Richards are part owners Mann Florists who are taking part in their second Art in Bloom event.

“I could see myself on my porch sipping some wine or coffee. I could relate to this and see myself enjoying how quiet this would be” said Richards, when asked about why she chose the artwork by Dorothy Knowles titled Yellow Reeds East of Christopher Lake.

When asked about the importance of Sault Ste. Marie being aware of the arts, “You can’t put a number on it or a price. Arts are everything, If you don’t have the arts (you have nothing). My husband always told me I was an artist and I never believed him until I started doing this event. I guess I am kind of an artist” Richards said, finishing with a laugh.

“The Soo is lucky as we have a wealth of talent, and we are really lucky. We can’t hop in the car and go to Toronto for the night. We need talent here, as we are kind of isolated. It’s nice to feature some of our own talent.” said Schatzler.

The arrangement

The Art in Bloom gallery is expected to be up until Mid-May, as per the director of the AGA. There are up to 20 displays, meaning the pictures and stories in this article are just scratching the surface.

The AGA is located just by the James L. McIntyre library on 10 East Street.