Flowers and Gardens 311 Gallery July 5 - July 28

Susan Jones,  Sculpture in Frederik Meijer Gardens  Grand Rapids, Michigan

Susan Jones, Sculpture in Frederik Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids, Michigan

Artists Celebrate Natural Beauty in July Exhibition 

It’s high summer and gardens are in full bloom. You have to love the summer garden with all its bright colors and heavenly smells, even the weeds look pretty when they flower.

Flowers have played a role in most art forms, provoking emotions and as gestures of sentiment. With a Google search, you can uncover lists of flowers and their historic meanings, their use in folklore and fairy lore, and numerous quotes by famous artists and writers.

In early western art history, flowers provided a rich visual symbolism for understanding God’s Holy Word. The lowly dandelion, symbolic of innocence and nostalgia, ranks with the white lily and the rose. During the Renaissance, flora flourished as a backdrop to human allegories. By the mid- 19th century, people began to cultivate for pleasure as well as food and the garden was born.

For the Impressionists, gardens were the perfect place for them to experiment with their new painting techniques, compositions and color. Their dedication led many artists of this period to become avid horticulturists, building greenhouses and designing elegant gardens. By the end of his life, Claude Monet, the most important painter of gardens in the history of art, had a team of gardeners working around the clock to create his perfect garden.

“I owe it to flowers that I became a painter.” Claude Monet

Georgia O’Keefe, best known for her abstracted flower studies, aimed to make the viewer really look at the flower.

“Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” Georgia O’Keefe

311 Gallery invited artists to participate in a national juried show that celebrates flowers and gardens. Works span the gamut from abstract to very realistic in a variety of media. We hope you’ll stop by this month and visit our summer garden.