“Art is eternal, but life is short,” the English artist Evelyn de Morgan wrote.
However, some art has a shelf life that falls considerably short of eternity.
The Art in Bloom exhibit at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is a beautiful example, with 26 pieces composed of nature’s fleeting artistry — flowers and foliage. The exhibit, presented by The Hagerstown Garden Club, concludes today with the museum open from 1 to 5 p.m.
Area garden clubs, as well as students from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, St. James School and St. Mary Catholic School, randomly picked envelopes inside of which were works of art, said Linda Carpenter of the Fountainhead Garden Club. The clubs and students then created arrangements to botanically capture the color, texture and theme of the works, she said.
For Carpenter and fellow club members Ana Hungria, Becky Plavcan, Pat Reynolds and Connie Wibberley, the work was “Cow,” a painting by Heather South.
The materials used included Ming fern tree, lily grass, sunflower centers and — for the eyes — black olives.
“I absolutely love this,” Marcia Toder of Hagerstown said of an arrangement based on “Abandoned,” a photo by Mary Pat Kelley of a rusting automobile in a southwestern setting. Mary House, Deanna Soulis and Bunny Waltersdorf of The Hagerstown Garden Club brought together flowers, leaves and man-made elements to re-create the setting, including lilies for headlights and a piece of broken garden rake for the grill.
“It’s very simple, but I think it’s a wonderful representation,” Toder said. The lily headlights, she said, “add just a touch of whimsy.”
Francie Hardy was taken by “Oriente,” a multicolored Murano vase accompanied by an arrangement by Betsy Hardinge, Jennifer Thomas and Margaret Waltersdorf of The Hagerstown Garden Club.
“See how it picks up the design,” Hardy said of the composition.
“Ducati,” Priscilla Howard’s painting of a motorcyclist leaning hard into a turn, caught the eye of Nancy Nally of Hagerstown. Appropriately for an arrangement involving a motorcycle, part of the work included rubber plant leaves contrasting with floral splashes of red and white.
The work was done by Beverly Abeles, Denise Bowen, Becky Reid-Neu and Yvonne Thomson of the Town & Country Garden Club.
The show opened Friday night with a preview party at the museum at City Park.
Now in its 10th year, Art in Bloom raises $7,000 to $10,000 per year for the museum, Hagerstown Garden Club President Maureen Sasse said.