Melissa Merli's weekend update: Petals & Paintings

Melissa Merli's weekend update: Petals & Paintings

Florist Rick Orr has guest-curated "Petals & Paintings" at Krannert Art Museum for 22 years. Even after all that time he remains surprised by the out-of-the-box floral designs that the florists contribute to the exhibit — one of the museum's most popular — taking place this weekend. One time a florist used a mattress box-springs as support for her floral design; Orr once used auto tires in his. Here's more.

1 This year 20 florists from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Oregon will donate designs in response to art. Peter Samek of Naperville will use in his 1,000 black pencils. "They're open to be as creative as they want or can be," said Orr, who sends florists photographs of the artworks they will interpret. "The unspoken rule is don't use artificial unless your design really calls for a particular color. It's mostly fresh flowers."

2 A freelance florist who works out of his home studio in Champaign, Orr will create this year a design interpreting drawings by Nigeran-born artist Victor Ekpuk. "I'm trying to find the right solution to respond to this artist, whose work is kind of clean," Orr said. The florist wanted to create black circles but figured that would be hard to do with flowers. So he came up with the idea of a soaker hose, with the ends cut off.

3 Orr noted if all 20 florists were to interpret the same piece of art, their designs would be starkly different from each other's. "It's a matter of being interpreted," he said, adding, "I'm very grateful that Year 22 and we're still able to get enough florists interested in making the contribution for such a worthwhile cause. The money goes to education and exhibits at the museum."

4 Krannert Art Museum raises money in two ways with "P&P": sponsorships and the gala on Friday that included a silent auction and the raffle of a painting by New York artist/UI alumnus Robert Lenz. Admission to "P&P" today and Sunday is free; a $3 donation is suggested. The museum at 500 E. Peabody Drive, C, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, with free tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Topics (1):Art

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