bo – tan – i – cal : concerning plants, agricultural, gardening, floral, grasses, herbs, horticultural, shrubs, floricultural, botanic, weeds, landscaping, arboricultural, trees, flowers …
“How I wished that I could come back as a flower,” a lyric in a Stevie Wonder song was being repeated over and over by a woman with a high, angelic voice, Stevie can be faintly heard singing harmony and making bird sounds in the background. Someone makes the sounds of the forest, possibly the lead guitar player, he has been sidelined for this tune.
Kenny ponders the last seventh of his second pint. Will he have another? He drinks them so fast and with such dexterity that the foam head is almost intact, about an eighth of an inch shorter and with the faint impression of a mustache. He now only comes into the bar on Fridays around five as the regulars and college kids start filtering in for the end of the week happy hour.
He put the Stevie Wonder forty-five in the jukebox almost exactly forty years before, when he was the bartender. The new owner asked him to spice up the playlist. He mixed in Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and Tom Waits and The Grateful Dead and others in with Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins and other country stars. He is proudest of the choice of Stevie Wonder.
Each Friday he comes into the bar, he never has gotten used to its new designation as a “pub,” takes his usual place in the last booth, Gil the bartender compliments him on his Hawaiian shirt with large hibiscus flowers on a beige background, placing the pint on a stained paper coaster with a well rendered representation of hops superimposed over an armadillo — his coaster. Kenny waits until he has finished the second pint to put the quarters in the jukebox to play the Stevie Wonder song. He wants to enjoy it with the warmth and medium intoxication the second beer brings.
All those years ago he never considered why he chose to include Stevie Wonder’s flower song. Now he knows. The three great loves of his life were Lilly, Jasmine and Holly, all gone. When he thinks of them in unison it seems ridiculous to him now, saccharine and unreal. But when he thinks of them individually he gets great tears in his eyes, filling them to overflowing, yet able to hold them in until they dissipate. Gil knows to look his way towards the end of the song, catching the neon sparkling in the puddles in his eyes, as do many of the regulars and a few of the college kids. Kenny doesn’t catch them looking his way, he only sees the distortion of the neon, appearing as flowers.
“And how I wished that I could come back as a flower, a flower…” From “The Bar Around The Corner” By Franklin Cincinnatus
Creativity is encouraged.
JUROR | Wendi Schneider will be the juror for “botanical”. Schneider is a Denver-based visual artist widely known for her ongoing series of hand-gilded photographs, States of Grace –– illuminated impressions of grace in the natural world. Drawn to the serenity she finds in the sinuous elegance of organic forms, she creates unique objects of reverence to preserve vanishing moments of beauty in our vulnerable environment.
Born in Memphis, TN in 1955, Schneider grew up in a family of artists, later earning an AA in Art History from Stephens College and a BA in Painting from Newcomb College at Tulane University. Her interest in photography germinated in the early 1980s with the use of a camera to reference models for oil paintings. Mesmerized by the possibilities of the photographic art form and the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, Schneider began to layer oils on photographs to manipulate the boundaries between the real and the imagined. This process laid the groundwork for the unique layering and gilding that would later become the foundation of States of Grace.
In 1988, Schneider moved to New York City and began a diverse and successful career that included fine art commissions, photography for magazines, book covers, and advertising, and later (after a move to Denver in 1994) design and art direction. In 2012, she began to produce a collection of photographs featuring flora and fauna – the States of Grace series, which was to become her signature body of work.
Schneider’s photographs are held in the permanent collections of The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Center for Creative Photography, The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, The Auburn University Library Special Collections, and The Try-Me Collection (among others), as well as numerous private collections. Her work has been published and exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions worldwide including AIPAD and Art Basel. Schneider is represented by A Gallery for Fine Photography in New Orleans, Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta, Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, Galeria PhotoGraphic in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Rick Wester Fine Art in New York, and Vision Gallery in Jerusalem, Israel.
Schneider is a collector of art and objects from the turn of the 20th century – primarily Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts and photogravures. She sits on the executive board of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
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Jurors Award – $325.00
Directors Award – $250.00
Three Juror Honorable Mentions – an exhibition catalogue
Director Honorable Mentions chosen at the discretion of the Gallery Directors – an exhibition catalogue
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