ART in the Garden at Reeves-Reed Arboretum
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 • 4:55pm
Reeves-Reed Arboretum at 165 Hobart Avenue will host its sixth ART in the Garden fundraiser on Saturday, June 2, from 6pm to 10pm. This cocktail reception and light buffet celebrates the opening of the Arboretum’s summer art exhibit featuring sculptures by renowned sculptor J. Seward Johnson and local stone sculptor Nikki Smokey Landau, and an exhibit of contemporary botanical portraiture by 13 artists from around the globe. Highlights of the evening will include a silent and live auction, music by Whinin’Cheez and lite bites created by David Ellis Events. To view the great auction items or to purchase tickets visit the website at www.reeves-reedarboretum.org .
Chaired by Lauren Pardo, the event pairs art with nature as friends of the Arboretum come together to celebrate growth and raise funds for the Arboretum’s horticulture and education programs. This year Reeves-Reed honors Cheryl Barr and Tom O’Flynn for their ongoing commitment to the organization. The Art in the Garden Committee members include Chair - Lauren Pardo, Vice- Chair - Melissa Tasse, Lina DiBlasio, Sonja Gamgort, Debra Karrat, Jennifer Kowantz, Lori Leiter and Kerrie Mayer.
Following an early career as a painter, Seward Johnson turned his talents to the medium of sculpture. Since then, more than 450 of Johnson's life-size cast bronze figures have been featured in private collections and museums in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as prominent places in the public realm such as Rockefeller Center, Pacific Place, Hong Kong, Les Halles in Paris, and Via Condotti in Rome. Seward Johnson is most widely known for his sculptures depicting people engaged in every day activities. Johnson’s desire to highlight the mundane in his Celebrating the Familiar sculpture series has brought a unique voice to the world of public art. Johnson is often recognized for his most dramatic work -- and also his largest -- the 70' aluminum giant entitled "The Awakening." This sculpture was selected for the International Sculpture Conference & Exhibition and is currently sited in National Harbor, Maryland. At 80, the artist continues to create increasingly memorable works in bronze. The city of Stamford, Connecticut mounted the largest exhibition of Johnson's work, through the support of forty-two corporate sponsors, inclusive of works from each of the three Johnson series. Fifty-two sculptures were sited along the city's thoroughfares, in the public parks, municipal buildings and museums spaces.
Nikki Smokey-Landau is a Summit, NJ-based stone sculptor. Her thirty-five year career has taken her from New York City to Tokyo, Japan to Summit, NJ. Her large and smaller sculptural works are represented in private and public art collections, as well as outdoor sculpture gardens in America, Asia and Europe. Nikki’s artistic style embraces abstract non-representational subjects that emerge both highly polished and naturally raw. Her work transforms the nature of natural stone while retaining and emphasizing those features of raw stone that possess the greatest natural beauty.
On display in Wisner House, The Magnified Eye: Contemporary Botanical Portraiture features watercolors and drawings on paper and vellum. There is a variety of techniques from dry brush to graphite and colored pencil. The artists exhibiting live around the world and include:
Martin Allen-United Kingdom, Beverly Duncan-Massachusetts, Jean Emmons-Washington State, Elizabeth Enders-New York City and Connecticut, Lara Call Gastinger-Virginia, Regine Hagedorn-France, Martha Kemp-Northern California, Karen Kluglein-East Hampton, New York, Kate Nessler-Arkansas, Rose Pellicano - West Hampton, New York, Kelly Leahy - Radding, Connecticut, Lizzie Sanders – Scotland, Catherine Watters-Northern California, Denise Walser- Kolar-Minnesota and Carol Woodin - upstate New York.
“The artists work from real life specimens within their short life- cycle to capture accurately the color and form of the plant within its fleeting life”, states Susan Frei Nathan, curator for the show. “