It was near the end of summer of 2000 and the garden was finally approaching the level of completion that Maggie Clarke, Arthur Sherry and others had dreamed of for this small triangle. Arthur’s waterfall was running, Maggie knew the names of every plant, Annette had painted the welcome sign overhead, Ed had moved an entire truckload of dirt and rocks…by hand, and many others had contributed sweat and tears to make this garden unique in that it wasn’t cut into little plots like other neighborhood gardens but a living, flowing continuous domain based on people working together to create a cohesive melding of the various varieties.
NOW…how to get more people in that garden to see it, love it, and most of all…..open the gates more often and garden “sit”. Well, Audrey St. Mark had a little idea… “Why don’t we put up some art and do a little show?”. As the rest of the board talked about it, I was speechless. A lightbulb had gone off in my head. “What a brilliant idea” I thought. It was a perfect setting to combine nature and art in peaceful setting. I had curated shows. I had done this before. “…but lets do it next summer when we can do it right” I heard myself say out loud. One question remained “If we build it will they come?”
The ART IN THE GARDEN 2001 event on June 10, 2001 was wildly successful, attracting at least 150 visitors during the four hours of the show. Not only did we have an overwhelming response but there was already a call to do it several times a year. Ssveral of the artists offered to help to put on two shows a year starting in 2002.
We had people from all walks of life represented, but the common thread I see, is their enthusiasm for this idea of combining their art with nature in this beautiful setting. They, like myself see the symbiotic relationship of their work to some nature source in themselves and RING signed up several new members during the event.
I was proud and pleased to welcome the artists of Inwood (and friends) and all of the guests, to the first “ART IN THE GARDEN at RING 2001“, for what I hope will become an annual event. It is my hope that we will continue to improve our quality of art as well as bring more people to the garden.
Excerpt of the welcome greeting by curator, Elizabeth Popiel,
published in the June 10, 2001 Art in the Garden program.