News Of Delaware County
Haverford Library art exhibit captures garden beauty
By Lois Puglionesi CORRESPONDENT
Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
HAVERFORD TWP. — Garden enthusiasts and art aficionados alike will find much to enjoy in Haverford Township Free Library’s second annual art show and sale, Art of the Garden. Running April 8 to June 21, this ambitious exhibit includes some 250 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and pottery entwined with garden motifs.
Displayed throughout the building are representations of flowers in all their glory as well as more surprising pieces, such as Elizabeth White’s untitled mixed media sculpture of Barbie wearing topiary tresses. Presented by Friends of HTFL, Art of the Garden is a professionally curated and juried show. Harvard University honors graduate and accomplished photographer Laura Jean Zito served as curator, while a panel including impressionist painter Alan Fetterman, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts board member Barbara Greenfield and Philadelphia Flower Show chairwoman Melinda Moritz had the difficult task of judging. Painter Susan Stefanski of Havertown won the grand prize for her oil painting "Azalea Hill Path." Priced at $2,500, the four-foot-by-four-foot canvas now hangs in the library's main window on Mill and Darby Roads. Stefanski said she based the picture's azalea-lined path on a scene at Jenkins Arboretum in Devon. "I love painting and it was a joy to do," Stefanski said, adding that she was "thrilled and very surprised" by the grand prize award. Linus Coraggio's pastel and watercolor "Fire in the Woods" took first place, followed by Rose Marie Cuniffe's pastel and collage, "Pool." Elizabeth Heller's "Reflections in the Phoenixville Canal" placed third. All art is available for purchase, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting Sow the Seeds of Our New Library fund. HTFL Director Christine Faris says she has a long wish list, including a new building, additional parking and expanded collections. Prices range from $75 to $20,000 for Gina Michaels' seven foot tall bronze sunflower sculpture, "Shiners." HTFL president Tom Woester said the current display has roots in Friends' annual garden tour, scheduled June 18 this year. Because the art show is sandwiched in between the Philadelphia Flower Show and garden outing, "We decided to have art of the garden as the theme," Woester said
Friends also arranged a three-part Gardener's Gathering lecture series. The final session on bees is slated for June 3 at noon. Since its founding in 2003 the Friends have gifted over $100,000 to the library, used to purchase furniture, a flat screen monitor, annual movie license and more. Friends sponsors a summer reading program and annual Open the Book fundraising gala. Last year's inaugural art show and sale featured work by Haitian artists. About 300,000 visitors pass through HTFL's doors annually. Sow the Seeds will contribute to the library's upkeep, severely curtailed by budget cuts over the past two years.