By Gina Malone
Throughout July, The Gallery at Flat Rock offers events to highlight artists and to generate excitement for Art in Bloom, scheduled for Labor Day weekend. A Floral and Tea Workshop Series will be held the second, third and fourth Tuesdays in July at 2:30 p.m. at the gallery. Registration is required for the themed classes which will pair floral artists with tea connoisseur Lynn Weekes Karegeannes. In addition to the workshop series, gallery artist Marsha Hammel will hold an open studio reception July 17–18 for her newly published book, Thriving on a Riff: A Life of Art and Music.
The workshop series begins on Tuesday, July 13, with Laura Felt, a senior professor in the Ikenobo School of Ikebana, a 500-year-old school where the tradition of Ikebana, the Japanese art of arranging flowers, began. Felt and her family lived outside of Tokyo for four years. “Traditionally, Ikebana arrangements are simpler and use fewer flowers than Western-style arrangements,” Felt says, “emphasizing line, branches and leaves.” On July 20, the Master Gardeners of Hendersonville, led by Tamsin Allpress, will feature a class on botanical fairy gardens. Allpress creates botanical ornaments and organizes the Flat Rock Playhouse Gardens, working with volunteers, most of whom are master gardeners. “With fairy gardens being so popular, we, as gardeners at the Playhouse, have turned to creating fairy gardens in movable vessels using a combination of woodland plants and botanicals to create the garden,” says Allpress.
Finally, on July 27, Beth Hohensee of Studio Flora Diva, will lead a class on summer florals. “I plan on showing some simple design techniques and explaining them in relation to the principles and elements of design,” says Hohensee. She is an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and her design studio specializes in flowers and floral décor for events.
In addition to floral design, workshop participants will be treated to a presentation of tea basics by Karegeannes and teas from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas. “I will talk about the difference between teas and tisanes, also known as herbal teas,” says Karegeannes. “I am thrilled at the prospect of taking tea with people at an in-person event after so many months of drinking it alone.”
The studio reception launching Hammel’s visual documentary of her life as an artist will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 17–18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hammel’s Hendersonville studio and is free and open to the public. On display will be many of the paintings that are in the book, ones dating back to the 1960s and 1970s and newer works as well. The original paintings will be available for purchase through The Gallery at Flat Rock.
The book’s title references the influence that music has always had on Hammel’s paintings, many of which depict musicians in her contemporary modernist style. “The creative process for writing and performing music is very much the same as painting,” Hammel says, “mostly prep and practice, attention to form and an awareness of texture, contrast, rhythm and balance. Atmosphere and tone are the intangible goals of the creator, whether for sound or a visual piece. This is what we strive for.”
Space is limited in the workshop series. To learn more and to register, visit GalleryFlatRock.com or call 828.698.7000. The Gallery at Flat Rock is located in Flat Rock Square at 2702A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. Marsha Hammel’s studio is located at 1901 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville.