by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
The burst of color and lingering scent of a thoughtfully designed flower bouquet can have a powerful effect on anyone’s mood, especially if one is sick, or close to the end of life. The simple beauty and joy of flowers is at the core of local nonprofit The Bloom Project and their third annual luncheon fundraiser, Bouquets of the Heart on May 1.
Founded by Heidi Berkman in 2007, The Bloom Project began as a way to create something special for those in end of life care; currently the project works with six hospice and palliative care agencies in Central Oregon with a dedicated volunteer team creating and delivering the beautiful bouquets.
For the second year floral designers will be taking their inspiration from local artists to create arrangements that will be available for sale during the event’s silent auction. “We started the event with the idea that it would combine the friend-raiser and fund-raiser,” said Berkman. “Last year we combined art and flowers for the first time.”
The combination concept as fundraiser had been used successfully at several west coast museums like the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the San Diego Museum of Art. Selected floral designers reflect their interpretation of fine art paintings and photographs in their arrangements, which are then auctioned off to benefit the organization.
“I think, it’s a really unique way to share with the community about The Bloom Project and an interesting and educational element that includes flowers,” Berkman explained.
This year Bouquets of the Heart will be emceed by Cascade A&E Publisher Pamela Hulse Andrews at the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort and will feature five local floral designers working from the art of five Central Oregon artists. Guests will enjoy a three-course luncheon while the floral designers discuss the creative process in the construction of their arrangements along with highlighting the design elements involved in their interpretive design of the chosen art.
Billye Turner and Scott Louis Brown worked together to identify the local artists that would be invited to participate, and asked each artist to submit two pieces of art. Sharon Dawn chose the floral designers, who will each get a chance to pick their preferences among the 10 art pieces.
“The challenge on this project was to limit our selections to just five artists and two selections from each artist, we have such an abundance of talent in Central Oregon,” commented Louis Brown.
“These floral designers then selected the artist and artwork they would use for inspiration for their floral creation based on possible considerations such as palette, subject matter, design or others,” explained Turner. The designers used a ballot listing each art piece and then rated them from 1 to 10 in preference. Assignments were made based on those ballots and the designers then had 30-40 days to create the design.
“We like to have floral designers who enjoy a challenge – are comfortable working in large scale – very good at their craft – and who can leave us with a little education and creative inspiration,” Dawn said.
Table centerpieces will be donated to hospice partners, and the proceeds from the silent auction will be used towards the purchase of supplies and securing a new project manager position for The Bloom Project.
“Our event allows us to introduce the community to our Bloom Project activities and purpose. The beauty of flowers can bring a touch of joy and a knowing that one is thought of. And who is more deserving than those in Hospice,” said Dawn.
“Such comfort from beautiful, fresh blooms is impossible to measure,” commented Turner.
Art & Floral Pairs
Artist: Justyn Livingston’s Come to Me
Designer: MaryAnn Leyen – Cascade Garden Center
Artist: Gary Vincent’s Walk Softly
Designer: Paula Knapek – Donner Flower Shop
Artist: Christian Heeb’s Buddha IX
Designer: Sharon Dawn – Design by Dawn
Artist: Dawn Emerson’s Looking Back
Designer: Scott Louis Brown – J.S. Brown Designs
Artist: Pam Jersey Bird’s Silent Listening
Designer: Deanna Brainerd – Flowers by Deanna