Boston is a pretty neat place to live. It is large enough to be cosmopolitan, yet not overpowering or unpleasant like some large cities. We have been fortunate in that in the past several years two major floral art shows have run in Boston.
This past week The World Association of Flower Arrangers had their show here. It was a floral art tour de force!
This show represents floral art from the garden clubs. The format was typical of garden club competitions. Various themes and subjects were established, and designers had to work within certain parameters to create floral art interpreting those themes. Hundreds of floral designs were available for viewing.
It was spectacular!
In my opinion the show demonstrated the 21st Century fusion of floral designing on three levels… geographic, temporal and professionalism.
Geographic. Floral artists throughout the world watch each other’s work, and incorporate techniques and approaches that are useful and meaningful to them and that help them achieve their design goals. While there may indeed be individual styles and regional approaches, floral designing is becoming very much a global expression….It is not unusual for a designer in Japan to borrow European techniques. Nor is it unusual for a designer here in North America to incorporate Oriental approaches.
Temporal. Floral designing today is quite eclectic. Classical and bleeding edge ( beyond cutting edge) all coexist. It makes little difference if the technique was from last year or a decade ago. If the design is aesthetically pleasing so be it. If we can enjoy varied kinds of cuisine and entertainment, why can’t we also enjoy eclecticism in our floral expressions?
Professionalism. When does a hobby become a professional endeavor? When one is passionate about something like floral art, can’t one participate on many levels? Professional designers love anything that celebrates floral art. Hobbyists often seek instruction in professional technique to achieve a higher standard in their art. The lines between pros and hobbyists often overlap or are nebulous. And does that really matter all that much? I found the atmosphere of the show and the folks running it to be friendly and inviting. Wonderful!
At Rittners Floral School we salute the WAFA and the many folks who put so much effort into this show. The logistics alone of planning, creating and maintaining these designs was challenging. The designing in the show was varied and lovely. We would love to see this show run more often. Regardless of who officially won various ribbons, I would say that everyone who entered and displayed was a winner. Anyone who attended this show and appreciated the floral designers’ efforts was also a winner as well.