Flexing Our Creative Muscle at Art Alive 2019

Last week, we concluded our participation in the 38th annual San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park fundraising event “Art Alive.” I haven’t missed one in 25 years, no matter what else we have going on. It’s always fun for us to spend time flexing our creative muscles.

If you aren’t familiar with Art Alive, 100 floral designers interpret artworks found in the Museum. The John and Sally Thornton Rotunda in the Museum literally comes alive with flowers, plants, and natural materials. It’s the art world version of the Rose Parade!

Our finished “Art Alive” 2019 display, interpreting the 1972 American painting “Theater Magic,” which you can see in the background.

It also reminds us of Good Earth Plant Company’s roots. I began the business as a downtown San Diego flower stand in (yes!) 1977,  and worked for many years specifically with flowers before adding plants, branching out, and eventually creating large scale projects along with maintaining interior plants for businesses and organizations.

When it came time to choose my artwork, I was one of the last people in line, and a little stumped over four choices. One person suggested this one, and I thought, ‘why not embrace the challenge as if the artwork was assigned to me by someone else?’

The inspiration for our 2019 Art Alive entry is the 1972 painting “Theater Magic” by Lawrence Beall Smith.

Our inspiration is called “Theater Magic,” created in 1972 by American artist Lawrence Beall Smith. The more I looked at this piece the more it grew on me. I liked the Art Deco look of it. Who or what is this man looking at? The swirls in the relief below him show motion. I saw floral shapes there.

Rachel Hecathorn of my staff created the finished piece for the show. Rachel took charge of the installation. She couldn’t have done a better job. Rachel created a design that stands on its own. Many of the other entries interpret the artwork, but don’t offer much to look at when the artwork is taken away.

Rachel selected dark, vibrant, saturated colors to represent the dark colors of a mid-century American theater. Think dark red velvet curtains and seats, and ark woods. She picked up on the curvilinear shapes depicted in the original art with the addition of the embellishements. She created and built the white sticks, and tore apart a table to get the dark brown circle in the back.
The flowers useds included dark calla lilies, ruby red roses, and dahlias. The greenery comes from big leathery lemon tree leaves.

Art Alive selfie. Well done Rachel!

Dozens of people told me they attended this annual event, and gave us wonderful feedback on the entry. Thank you!

For those of you who couldn’t make it in person, not to worry. We have a portfolio of photos pulling back the creativity curtain to show you how the entry was put together, with a look at the final display.