Flowers have a language of their own, and Art in Bloom 2013 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, clearly spoke to the enthusiastic crowds who attended the four-day event.
"The galleries were packed," reported David Connelly, the museum's spokesman, describing the exhibition that ran March 9-12.
Highlights of the annual show, which features floral interpretations of artworks in the museum's collection, were "Flowers After Hours," a preview party that featured designers Bruce Wilson of the Flower Centre and Greg Creamer of Artistic Flowers in the second annual Iron Florist competition. WUSF-FM radio host Craig Kopp was master of ceremonies. Judges were Kathryn Crisp Greeley, author of The Collected Tabletop, and Mary-Beth Wagner, who designs and maintains the museum's membership and sculpture gardens. Their choice: Wilson for the win.
Greeley herself was the featured presenter at the Art in Bloom luncheon on March 11; her interior design work is known throughout the Southeast. Her talk in the Palm Court Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort featured ideas for entertaining that included numerous floral arrangements.
The Art in Bloom schedule expanded this year, adding a presentation by Rich Norris of Publix Aprons cooking school that featured edible flowers and a talk by Kentucky glass genius Stephen Rolfe Powell. Artist Christopher Still discussed his painting Orchids, which is in the museum's collection, and Dale Wybrow showed how it inspired her floral interpretation.
Numerous volunteers and committee members labored to coordinate the events, which were presented by the museum's Margaret Acheson Stuart Society. Charlotte Kendall is president of the group. Debbie Baxter was overall chairwoman for Art in Bloom; Jill McGrath led the preview party committee; Mary Maloof, the floral installation; and Jean Getting Irwin, the luncheon.
A celebratory event each year, Mardi Gras VII featured masks and beads and a cheerful crowd in a fundraiser for Infinity, the League to Aid Abused Children and Adults.
Fashions from White House/Black Market and Ambria's Gallery of Wearable Art starred on the runway in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Models included Roxanna Fall, Elizabeth Hammer, Joyce Larson, Rebecca Lemmon, Antonette Magnani, Barbara Paonessa, Melissa Rutland, Tricia Schachtel and Louise Wilson.
Mistress of ceremonies Jennifer Holloway, Robert Lovejoy and Teresa Wittstruck selected Joy Rudnicki and Lois Weissman as winners of the mask contest.
Infinity president Roseanna Costa and Hammer were co-chairs for the luncheon, whose proceeds go to the Suncoast Center (formerly Help A Child); Brookwood Florida; and CASA, Community Action Stops Abuse. The event committee included Kay Brown, Fern Clayton, Diane Fair, Roxanna Fall, Ginger Hanner, Pat Howells, Jean Hurst, Larson, Lemmon, Claire Mazzella, Karen McCollum, Jackie O'Brien, Sally Poynter, Valerie Rankin, Joy Rudnicki, Schachtel, Donna Smith, Maritza Smith, Edie Spies, Libby Tolson, Diane Ward, June Wedding, Mary Wheeler, Wilson, Wittstruck, Barbara Wiseman and Roberta Yancey.
PARC's second annual celebrity pro-am golf tournament opened with a pairing party at Tampa's Avila Golf & Country Club, where a painting of the club created by PARC artist Ben P. went to winning bidder and longtime supporter Tino Mastry.
The tournament steering committee included chairmen Scott Brinner, Tom Harrington, Dave Pilkington and Elliott Ross; Victoria Jourdenais, Paul Manfrey, Lyn Orns, Laurie Stogniew and Fred Whaley.
Presenting sponsor was the Hays Cos. Money raised at the event goes to assist persons with developmental disabilities.
It was a major recognition for Harriet Rogers Jackson, recipient of a 70-year membership certificate from St. Petersburg's Caravel Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The presentation took place at Maria Manor rehabilitation center, where she lives.
Mrs. Jackson, matriarch of the family that owns Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park, is the last surviving member of the chapter, which was chartered in Treasure Island in 1965. She was a member of CAR, the Children of the American Revolution, before transferring to the DAR.
Mrs. Jackson's granddaughter Meischa Jackson, daughter of Doug and Sharon Jackson, is waiting to hear about her own DAR membership application; she works in Hawaii and was able to see the presentation using Apple FaceTime video calling, her mother said.