“Not Just Another Pretty Flower” Artist Talk with Firefly Mary Ahern: Winter may be coming, but flowers are blooming at the Firefly! Come, meet Mary Ahern and her bold, vibrant garden landscapes and flower portraits.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear this award-winning artist speak about how, over decades, her gardens inspired in her a deeper consideration of existence and purpose, and how her thoughts evolved and expanded as she moved closer and closer to the floral centers.
As a classically trained artist, Mary has created her vision through traditional as well as diverse digital mediums. Her work has been shown extensively from New York City to the Hamptons. Now, you can see her at The Firefly Artists Gallery in the beautiful Village of Northport.
Says Ahern, “My Art Starts in the Garden, which inspires me to create Art that asks questions beyond the canvas. Flowers represent a microcosm of the universe in their quest for life. Whether creating with digital or traditional mediums, flowers and gardens lead me to express not just with my eyes but also with my soul.”
NAWA ARTISTS ARE HIGHLIGHTED
AT HIGHLAND PARK’S BEAMESDERFER GALLERY
From September 5 through October 31, 2019, the B. Beamesderfer Gallery in Highland Park, New Jersey, will present NAWA at Beamesderfer 4: Real/Unreal, its fourth in an ongoing series of exhibitions of the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) members. Founded in 1889, NAWA’s mission is to encourage, exhibit, and foster public awareness of visual art created by women in the United States.
Real/Unreal presents works by 21 NAWA member artists, This exhibition will present two opposite sides of the artistic spectrum: precise representational imagery and totally nonobjective compositions. With this visual dichotomy, viewers of the exhibition will not only see the great range of imagery possible in art, but can also appreciate the fundamental qualities that all artistic creation: color, composition, technical proficiency and personal expression. A wide variety of art media is shown, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel and printmaking.
The B. Beamesderfer Gallery is located about 10 minutes away from the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University, the home of the historical art collection and archives of NAWA. Evan Brownstein, the owner of the B. Beamesderfer Gallery, is a highly respected preparator and framer of art with clients in New York and New Jersey. His gallery has shown high quality work by local and regional artists for many years, and this collaboration should benefit both the Gallery and NAWA in widening their outreach.
The exhibition is curated by Jeffrey Wechsler, a member of the NAWA advisory board who was actively involved with the creation and presentation of NAWA collection during his long tenure as Senior Curator of the Zimmerli Art Museum.
The artists in the exhibition are: Mary Ahern, Francesca M. Azzara, Mary JoCarew, Judi Gilden, Rita Herzfeld, Carolyn Latanision, Heather Lynn, GayleMadeira, Mary Marley, Nicole Maye Luga, Carol A. O’Neill, Meredith Rosier, Nadine Saitlin, Debbie Shirley, MaryLou Siefker, Mara Szalajda, LeslieTejada, Meredeth Turshen, Barbara Kitty Williams, Pat Zalisko and Abby R.
Closing Reception and Symposium Saturday August 24th 1-4pm
A journey of discovery with no foreknown destination was set into motion and this exhibition is the momentary culmination. This exhibit includes artists who have collaborated beyond their medium of expression, artists both experienced and new at collaborating, parents with their adult offspring, varied processes that combine music, video, garden, humanity. This will excite you and get your creative juices bubbling…but you won’t over-heat. The Islip Art Museum is air-conditioned.
Mary Ahern is a painter and Mary Schlotter is a floral designer.
We are both Marys and we are also both passionate gardeners. We have joined forces in a number of art shows using our own respective mediums. In these collaborations we select a theme which, for both of us, always includes plant material. We discuss issues of color, size, proportion and duration before the work begins. Usually the two dimensional artwork comes first since it takes longer to create. Then the magic of interpreting those works into three dimensions including the issues of time and sustenance are explored. In our collaborations we offer each other tremendous freedom yet within creative boundaries. Our temperaments and our awe of the natural world surrounding us is the fulcrum of all of our work whether we are collaborating together or working alone.
As a passionate gardener, my art is as intricately entwined as the gardens surrounding my studio. Cultivating and tending these gardens is the first stage of creating the art that grows in my studio.
Flowers represent to me a microcosm of the universe in their cycles of living and loving, families and relationships as well as their quest for survival and eventual senescence and rebirth.
With a duality of external and internal vision, I invite the viewer to see, larger than life, the beauty and intricacy of flowers and in their boldness I suggest a contemplation of their relevance and ours in the social order of our universe.
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change” – Buddha
My grandmother Maria was from Bari, Italy. As a child she would walk with me through the gardens at our home while pointing out various flowers and fruits. Our house was built on an old fruit orchard. One day she took her thumb and pushed it into the soil. In her apron pocket she pulled out a peach pit. She said it had been so delicious. She had me plant it and covered it with a clean mayonnaise jar, and so it grew.
These walks inspire me in my designs. Every time I step into my garden or see a beautiful flower, a plant or a perfect peach I think of her. I create my arrangements as if they had just been gathered in our arms from the garden.
They are composed in a manner that will not hurt the earth by using toxic design mechanics such as floral foam. Clean water and compostable armatures are my base. When ever possible I grow our flowers and use locally sourced material. I want the recipient or the viewer of my design to feel as if they are catching a glimpse of a garden and give them a sense of peace.
“Adopt the sense of nature, her secret is patience” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m pleased to have been invited to show my Floral Paintings and Aluminum Prints at this event. I hope you stop by for a chat. You know I’ll be full of joy being surrounded by so many gorgeous plants.
Join us for a pre-dinner art stroll through our lush and vibrant summer gardens. Our evening will feature the work of local artists displaying and selling their work, live music, wine, and passed Hors d’Oeuvres.
I hope you can join hundreds of other Art Lovers for “a self-guided tour of the new exhibits at the museums and galleries in the Village of Huntington, New York. Many of the artists will be on hand to talk about their inspiration while you enjoy tasty treats! Free! No tickets, just come on down!”
I will be so happy if you stop by. We can talk about Art and we can talk about gardens. Your choice!
The Huntington Art Center is celebrating 60 years of designing and creating fine Custom Framing! In 2015, we re-opened the gallery hallway, taking advantage of both entrances and are now showing mixed media, paintings, photography and prints, most of which are from talented local artists’. For this Art Walk, we will be exhibiting the works of Constance Sloggat Wolf , Kieran Johnson and Mary Ahern.
Said Wendy Curtis of the Huntington Art Center, “I feel the arts are a necessary form of expression, and need to be fostered in our community and everywhere. I love that our galleries and museums in the village all come together for this event a couple of times a year, and hope that it will continue to draw attention to the artists and the fabulous art exhibitions we have in our own backyard. No need to go to NYC, the village has become quite the destination spot to stroll through town, grab a bite to eat, and see some extraordinary art!”
Closing Reception in the Memorial Gallery May 24 from 5-7pm.
Farmingdale Memorial Gallery
Though I graduated from the Farmingdale Horticulture Program I was invited to be part of this celebration by the art/communications department. I’m deeply indebted to the amazing education I received at Farmingdale learning about garden design, plantings, and the massive interconnectivity of our environment.
My work in the garden continues to inspire all my Art.