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Art in Bloom gets rolling

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By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter

For the ninth year running, the Beth Shalom Garden Club is organizing Needham’s Art in Bloom. Modeled after the identically-titled annual springtime exhibit presented by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the goal was to create a community event that would engage people of all ages, interests and life experiences. Art in Bloom matches members and participants with a work of art completed by a Needham High School student, who then create floral arrangements which complement and interpret the work.

This past Tuesday, Temple Beth Shalom hosted a floral workshop – essentially a practice run for all those interested in creating the floral aspect of the event. “Usually, we just have posters from people’s homes to work with, but this year, people brought in actual works of art, which is really nice,” Allison Shapiro, co-chair, said. At the workshop, the other co-chair, Sue Kaplan, gave a presentation, going through some of the ways to choose which flowers to use, how to arrange them, and what aspects of the work of art to think about when creating an arrangement.

This year, Art in Bloom received an award from the Goldin Foundation for Excellence in Education. This honor, the Exemplary Projects Award, is designed to recognize excellence, expertise, demonstrable achievement in education. “It’s really nice to have that recognition and validation in terms of the educational work that we do,” Shapiro said. “One of the things I think is really cool is that we get to highlight the work that the high schoolers are doing. For example, we also work with multi-media projects, and it’s possible that other schools aren’t offering that platform to their students.”

Praised as a multi-generational event, the actual show will be held on March 4 and 5 in the Needham High School Library. At its inception nine years ago, there were only 25 or so works of art and arrangements. Last year, over 2,800 people filled the library to see 77 displays. This year should surpass even that.

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