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Washington County Museum of Fine Arts benefits from Art in Bloom

March 30, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

For the past decade, members of the Hagerstown Garden Club have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts with its annual Art in Bloom exhibit.

This year’s show, the 10th annual, opened Friday night with a preview party to kickoff the fundraiser at the museum in City Park.

About 350 people, including many of the floral designers, were expected to attend the $30-per-person event, said Maureen Sasse, president of the garden club.

Sasse said the club has helped raise between $7,000 and $10,000 each year, with a goal of more than $10,000 for this year’s show, which runs through Sunday. All the proceeds for the weekend go to the museum.

“It’s really fabulous,” Sasse said. “It’s the best bang for your buck fundraiser in the county.”

Twenty-six floral arrangements of all shapes, sizes and colors were peppered throughout the museum next to various pieces of original art hanging inside the museum. Each designer is given a piece of art to use as inspiration for an arrangement, Sasse said.

“It’s just phenomenal to see the talent that people have that are not professional floral designers,” she said.

Rebecca Massie Lane, director of the museum, said the idea started in 1976 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and has branched out across the country ever since. It combines the creativity of floral designers with the inspiration of original works of art, she said.

“Every year there’s at least one or two of those ‘Oh, wow’ moments,” Lane said.

Bradley D. Pingrey, president of the museum’s board of trustees, said the board has developed a great partnership with the garden club, noting that the event is a nice way to bring different groups and audiences to the museum.

“It’s really quite interesting to see how they do it,” Pingrey said of the exhibitors. “It’s gorgeous.”

More events will be going on today, starting with a children’s floral workshop at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a floral demonstration by Sylvia Deck, a National Garden Club accredited judge, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Registration is $5 and $15, respectively.

Catering for the event is provided by Flannery’s Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg, Pa.

General admission into the museum is free all weekend.

If you go...

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What: Art in Bloom

Where: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown

When: Today, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

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