Flowers & Fine Art @VMFA (Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #171: 10-26-2021)

Hello Readers, the Lens-artist’s theme is Weird and Wonderful this week. 

In this post you will find some weird and wonderful combinations of FRESH FLOWERS and FINE ART.

Over the weekend I met with a former student. The coffee shop we were at was seven minutes from our local art museum. We decided to take a slow walk to the museum and glad we did because we stumbled upon a four-day exhibit of Flowers & Fine art.

We did not stay long because we both had other things to do that day. However, we did have a chance to explore part of the second floor and a little bit outside – which was actually more than enough because with too much art it can be overwhelming.

*** Long Photo Post Warning ***

I was going to split this into two posts but decided to just go for it. Also, if you are here for the weekly smile, feel free to jump to the end to see the last photo.

First – the horses greet you at the entrance:

Of course the horses had me thinking of Diane and Murphy and then Anne and Biasini.

 Once inside the museum –  there was another horse display 

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EXHIBITS

I will start off with exhibit #16 because the painting is one of my favorites at the museum. It is called “Coming Home from Work” by John Biggs. I have many memories of this piece from former class field trips to the VMFA. The students and I would discuss the Elements or art and Principles of design and then critically give our view – and of course we’d like to challenge the description that was provided for this piece ( I disagree with some of their take on it). Anyhow, here is exhibit 16 with fresh flowers from Arlene Stewart. To the lower right is me with the former student. 

Here is a back view of the flowers from Arlene Stewart – and check out how weird and wonderful they are….

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Next up is #25 – The art piece is called “Negative Optic Electrical Force, Positive Optic Electrical Force” by Alfred Jonson with flowers by Gerry Smith.

In the collage below you can see that the Johnson flowers could go with the other painting too – but they sure matched the Optic Force art

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Exhibit #23 had flowers from Genny Chase paired up with pop art “Jungle Jim Lieberman” by Nicholas Krushenick.

And once again, the flowers seemed to also fit well with other pieces:

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Next is exhibit #22, which had flowers from Lynn Neviasar paired with painting called “No. 3, 1957” by Hedda Sterne. We met a lady who had a dress that matched the display.  She posed for us and later I realized she had a weird and wonderful purse as well. 

At first I had this next image made to share exhibit #22, but was not sure if the flowers to the left added too much – what do you think? Is this first one better with some margin or is the second option better with the extra flowers added in? What say you? 

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Exhibit #25 features the painting “Wishing Well Bridge” by Richard McClean with flowers from Glenda F. Harris. Do you like the vertical roses syncing with the people? I do.  Maybe some blue roses in one of the right hand bundles – but either way – it looked striking on display.

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Next, exhibit #24 had a cloth art piece called “Blocks and Strips” by Ruth Kennedy. This made me think of blogger Tierney –

https://tierneycreates.com/2021/10/12/three-part-harmony-and-experiment-with-mass-production/

and the paired flowers were from Melinda Snow and Suzanne Spooner Munch, which minded me of Cee’s Flower of the day posts. 

Also, the reason I grabbed some people in  various photos (and some back views of the flowers) was to provide a bit more of the experience we felt – as opposed to just giving you straight on photos of the art and flowers. 

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Exhibit #20 featured “Hot Pansies” by Robert Zakanitch with flowers from Mary Gardiner and Linda Challenar.

 I am not sure I had the spelling right on the names of the flower artists for #20 – and sadly, I did not get a close up of the flowers; however, I did get a nice shot of the flowers for exhibit #21, which are next.

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Exhibit #21: Flowers by by Karen Abramson and Tegwin Smith, which were paired with “Untitled” by Howardena Pindell. I like how the photo on the right came out with the duality in background color – only realized this later when skimming photos. And the vase here was a nice texture touch too. 

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Next we have exhibit #14- with delightful pastel pink and white flowers from Victoria Alexander and Laura Francis – paired with the painting called “Chrysanthemums” by Charles Ethan Porter. Yes, thought of another blogger, Linda – who recently posted a “Mums the Word” post.  

And you know, this was a seemingly simply mums display took on depth the more you explored. It kept on delivering. The collapsing set up and the piece of frame – and then feeling it align with the painting made us feel it was far from simple 

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Some folks know that the Richmond area art museum, VMFA, is proud to have an installation of Rockefeller’s Bedroom.

This bedroom served as the base for exhibit #13 and the classic bouquet they put out (did not get the florist’s name, sorry) but it seemed a nice classical match for the dark and heavy old-style room.

Later, when I looked at photos from the visit, I realized that this couple was in the frame of two photos – their smart phones provide a nice contrast of the old with the new.  

And perhaps one day we will look back to 2021 and say, “Do you remember when smart phones looked like that? The big rectangle with the touch screen…”  ha 

***

How are you doing so far?

Do you have flower fatigue or collage clutter coming down on ya? 

Well, just two more and we are done.

In exhibit #11, we have a painting called “May Day and Central Park” by George Bellows with flowers from Shelia Moore and Thea M.  

I thought this display should get extra points for being closet to a replica – rather than syncing, the flowers seem to be an extension of the art itself – like a mirrored duplicate. Do you know what I mean?  Looks like they were pulled right out of the painting with one swoop.

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Exhibit #15 has flowers from Laraine Smith and Bettie Gutherie to go with the sculpture called “Hostess” by Elie Nadleman.  This was the first display we saw and one of the last. It seemed really popular, which could be because it is located in the middle of one of the first rooms on the second floor – and the photo to the left I liked because it had two ladies in the background 

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GIFT SHOP

The gift shop had many floral-themed items for sale (of course) – and these tissue paper hats reminded me of the many paper flowers I have made with students over the years. Especially back in 2008-2009 – I found a bunch of Martha Stewart paper flower kits on clearance – they were these jumbo flowers and were easy to fluff out and assemble – and they looked stunning at an art show we had. But most of the time, I buy pre-folded smaller paper flowers and use them for ice-breakers. Students fluff the flower and add a little essential oil and it makes a nice take home goody. 

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WEEKLY SMILE

One more thing from last weekend – 

I am closing with an image for Trent’s weekly smile because right after the museum visit and student meetup, I stopped at a little store in Carytown (the fan area in Richmond) because it was my hubby’s b-day and I wanted to get something for him (he had some work to do earlier that day while I was out and about). Anyhow,  I met this nice lady and her daughter. We got to talking because they were shopping for Halloween costume items and I insisted they come over and get a couple of Halloween costumes I was getting rid of.  They came the next day and it was such a fun little encounter (not too weird but “weally” wonderful). A nice boost for an empty nester and just fun to pay it forward as folks have blessed me this way in the past.

This is the card they gave me- which also had fresh flowers with it – 

So my weekend had community, smiles, and LOTS of flowers – and I feel truly blessed. 

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63 thoughts on “Flowers & Fine Art @VMFA (Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #171: 10-26-2021)

    1. thanks for sharing the one you liked most – I hope others will share that too – because I am so curious – and I ams till thinking about which one I liked the most – hmmmmm

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – that sounds so interesting – like the reverse of what they did here – where they hatched the flowers to the art – your husband matched the art to the flowers (and did you have a top exhibit today?)

      Like

  1. You have done well with a fascinating exhibition. Strangely enough, my favourite is version 2 of 22. I think the block of red far left repeating the corner of the painting carries the whole image through from the woman’s dress – which itself was a great spot. I also liked the flowers/people link in 26. Including people and other photographers always adds atmosphere – as you do in your outside shots.

    Like

    1. Derrick – thanks so much for the feedback!
      in particular with the note about exhibit 22 the second collage – and in hindsight – I wish I would have gotten the lady’s name – and I was grateful she posed for a photo – her artiste was so original and felt this nice air about her.
      and cheers for #26 with the vertical roses and folks on the wishing bridge – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rupali – I am surprised I was not chomping at the bit to attend this exhibit – because I did hear about a week before – but I am not in a “go and explore” mode right now as I have a lot work stuff to tackle – and the three different former students I met with this month – took intentional time investment – if that makes sense (and in the spring I fasted from little get together because of time watching – and meeting up with someone can cost a day sometimes – or at a good chunk of it and we need to do that but too much can lead to black holes or can pull from other areas – and so with that said – it was time to connect and then of course the return on this time investment had already flooded me with fruits
      — hope your week is going well

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the beautiful tour Yvette! I love the horse sculptures, the mandala art in #25 and I prefer version 2 for exhibit #22 – the way the lady’s dress matches the painting is truly wonderful! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the specifics about what stood out to you because I was seriously hoping folks would chime in!
      And Cheers to the second take on #22 – seems to be a reader’s choice for the second version
      🌸🌺🌸🌺😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Yvette,
    I was intrigued by the lady in the matching dress and preferred the second image with the extra flowers.
    The colourful leaves in the final photograph reminded me of growing up as my parents grew quite a few of these around the yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Norah – I think those might be coleus – or some shade variety – our yard used to be full sun front and back and so I did not grow too many shade plants or I would be sure about the name

      And hw cool that those flowers brought you back to what your parents grew – a beautiful example of how flowers can also connect to episodic memories and they are worth the effort to nurture
      ☀️

      And thanks for the feedback on art dress lady and the second option – that second collage seems to be a fav and shows me that minimal is not always better
      🙏😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, coleus. That sounds familiar. And episodic memories – that’s the truth. Snips here and snaps there but not always an entire scene.

        Like

  4. Hi Yvette,
    You know my favorite already, the horses and flowers of course, hehe, 🐴🌻 but my second is the lady with the matching dress, how unusual but really COOL!! And I love the second image with the flowers in the shot. But they all are so lovely and it was a great read with super great photos as you transported us to the museum with you!! What a fun day! AND to help someone with their Halloween costume later, how cool is that? I’m smiling from ear to ear! You’re the sweetest, and happy birthday to your hubby!! ❤️🥳🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes for my hubs – I just told him and also told him you had an October bday!
      And speaking of birthdays – early this year on my bday I had a similar gift of being to help someone – it was at the Jefferson hotel and this young couple had just got engaged – like literally two minutes before we walked by then – and the girl came right up to me and asked if I would take their photo (the funny thing is that I usually offer to take photos for folks and we ask often when we are out and about – so for her to come to me was like “but of course” and then later I felt all touched by God because my birthday this year was quiet and almost humdrum – not complaining – and so when we can home I was beaming because intrinsically it filled me and God knows how much that kind of stuff fuels me – when not overdone etc)
      And thanks for Sharing your feedback on the post – huge smile and art lady with the plaid dress and funky purse has something to model for us all

      – “be unique – be you and stay alive while living” is the message she exuded

      Hope you have a great rest of the week
      ☀️☀️☀️

      Like

    1. Hi Terri / it was crazy how we meandered in and then had this explosion of a fresh idea and clever exhibit / In contrast… there are times I plan to go and it doesn’t always deliver as much
      – ☀️😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi patti / I wonder how much stress the floral artists experienced as they matched their flowers to an assigned piece – like did some of them struggle and did some of them find it a breeze or super easy?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Yvette – you certainly saw a treasure trove of art and flowers in a short amount of time and no, I was not tired of seeing flowers and collages halfway through. I like both of your photos for Exhibit #22 – the second photo shows the flowers on the left side and they also match the painting and the anonymous woman’s dress, so even better than the first picture. Don’t laugh, but I like both of the horse exhibits – flowers and horses are something you’d usually associate with the winner at the Triple Crown races – so this really was the most unique part of the exhibit to me. Your mums were exquisite – my mums were more traditional chrysanthemums but those spider mums, or maybe they were football mums were really gorgeous. I have not been to any local art museums in decades. I went with family friends to Spain in 1974 and we stayed with her family in Madrid for a week and traveled up the coast the other two weeks. While there we visited the Prado Museum. While in Bergen, Norway our tour group visited the Edvard Munch Museum featuring his works.

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    1. Hi Linda / interesting you mentioned Edvard Munch because the flowers for exhibit #24 had one of the artists with Munch in her name / and I was wondering if she was related –
      “paired flowers were from Melinda Snow and Suzanne Spooner Munch”
      Hmmm
      And another interesting thing from your comment was about the triple crown and flowers and horses / some of the signs did talk about equestrian connections to flowers – I will see if I can find the photo I grabbed
      ☀️😊🙏

      Like

      1. I heard a special on the radio one time about the three races in the Triple Crown and how someone must hurry to paint the colors of the jockey’s/winning horse’s silks. I can’t remember where that is – it is not the steeple at Churchill Downs. Yes, the Run for the Roses at the Derby, the sunflowers at the Preakness and white carnations at the Belmont Stakes. I had to Google that last one. Interesting about the Munch connection and I wouldn’t think it was a common name at all, would you?

        Like

  6. Like the painting with the matching dress the most and the one from Central park (except the big orange thing in the background! I like flowers, but I wish they had separated the paintings from
    the flowers:)

    Liked by 1 person

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