Art in Blooms |

Art in Blooms

Sarah Gonser

What happens when floral designers collaborate with artists at a breathtaking location for a worthy cause? The answer is the second annual Art in Blooms fund-raiser.

Four world-renown florists, all members of the American Institute of Floral Designers, displayed interpretive designs Sunday for Art in Blooms at Edgewood Tahoe. Proceeds from the event, organized by the Barton Guild, will help support the Barton Home Health and Hospice Care program.

The florists created arrangements using flowers, moss, berries, branches and more, inspired by and displayed with needlework, watercolors, charcoals and weavings by South Shore artists.

“Our goal in raising money for home health care is to let people know a lot earlier what services are available. We just want to get the information out there before it’s actually needed,” said Barbara Atwell, a guild organizing committee member. “We also wanted the artists and the community to interact.”

Exhibits and demonstrations of floral design, a silent auction of all floral pieces on display and demonstrations of art interpretation and holiday design filled the Clubhouse for several hours as viewers enjoyed a $35-a-plate luncheon.

The event was also important for the floral designers, organizer and florist Barbara Thran-Anderson said, because they had been focussing on increasing public interaction and awareness in their work for a long time.

“We thought why not get the public involved, and then, even better, use the monies to benefit the community. It was a win-win situation. We got to give a workshop, the public got to come to an unusual show and the guild raised some money,” Thran-Anderson said.

The floral artists involved were Janet Hayes of Port Angeles, Wash.; Jack Richards of Salem, Ore.; Brian K. Smith of Portland, Ore.; and Barbara Thran-Anderson of South Lake Tahoe. And all four had impressive floral credentials. Richard, for one, was the florist for the Academy Awards.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a humongous deal and you get to meet all those famous people,” Richard said.

Among his duties, Richard had to create lush gardens out of parking lots and decorate three-story lobbies with hanging vegetation.

“Lavish is the word,” he said. “It was a tremendous job.”

Hayes and Smith were hired to decorate President Clinton’s second inaugural party.

“It was an amazing opportunity,” Smith said.

There was only one problem; the job was canceled.

“Apparently the president is allergic to flowers,” Hayes said. “So we didn’t get to do it. But we’ll probably do the next president’s inauguration. Let’s hope he loves flowers.”

Thran-Anderson, owner of Thran’s Flower Shop, also arranged many a celebrity event in her time.

“The best was this Bill Cosby show. He loved my arrangement so much, he called me up and we chatted. Then he took the flowers home to his wife,” Thran-Anderson recalled.

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