It would have been enough to simply view the notable artwork of talented students from Needham High School. At an exhibit this weekend at the Needham Public Library nearly 60 students demonstrated their skill and creativity in watercolor, ceramics, animation, and sculpture – decidedly whimsical. But the show took an untraditional turn. Members of local garden clubs were asked to interpret the students’ art and create floral arrangements to match. The result was a celebration of color, design, and scent. 

Take, for example, Florence Weener’s exquisite bouquet interpreting Cameron Flynn’s watercolor.

Needham’s "Art in Bloom" was the brainchild of Sue Kaplan, who says the idea originated with the Museum of Fine Arts, which has its own exhibit each year.  But participation is limited and Sue wanted to give many more artists and arrangers an opportunity to show their stuff. “We started with 22 exhibits eight years ago and now we’re up to 59!,” she says. 

Donna and Jerry Kidman say Needham’s "Art in Bloom" is even better than the MFA’s. They come to the exhibit each year. “So many really nail it as far as the colors go and the whole composition,” says Donna.

Composition and materials were key in this Mae Davies representation of what it’s like to have a headache. 


Sue Kaplan says when "Art in Bloom" first started, the students were a little shy about participating. Now, they’re proud to exhibit their work and attend a ceremony that pairs them up with their floral counterparts. Relationships are forged and generations come together. But what happens when the exhibit is over? The flowers are brought to local nursing homes where their beauty can be appreciated for days to come.

More photos by Jim Boyd: