began in Albuquerque as the brainchild of Carol Adamec & Sondra Diepen, two artists who lived and workd in New Mexico in 2002. The plan was to commemorate the human losses of September 11 by filling cities with paintings of flowers. The number 5000 comes from the original estimated number of victims in the New York City tragedy. Local response to the effort was incredible, with over 10,000 pieces of art created in all, and stories from many individuals expressing their personal connections to the events of September 11th.
Five venues grew to ten, ten grew to twenty. Twenty participants grew to sixty, sixty to 300. Local schools joined in through the coordination of Holly Taylor Novak, an art teacher at Culbreth Middle School, and the number of flowers created grew into the thousands!
As local gardens shriveled due to the drought, artistic flowers began bursting forth all over Carrboro and Chapel Hill. On August 26th, the day of our first installations, it began to rain, and continued raining for the next six days. Outdoor flower gardens came back to life, blooming once again from the long needed rain. Coincidence? We don't think so. The seeds of hope were sewn.
From art schools to preschools, people from every walk of life and every level of talent have created flowers. Flowers of paper, paper m‚chť, plaster, paint, pencil, photo, marker, metal, tin, wood, yarn, ceramics, glass, and any other media you can think of, all colors, shapes, and sizes. Creativity ran wild! All to remember a fateful day that ended thousands of lives and touched each of us in a different way.
The culmination of the event occured at a reception at the last Weaver St. Market After Hours Thursday evening event for the 2002 season on September 12, from 5 until 8 pm. Performing that evening on the lawn was Middle Eastern group Kolaj, playing International Folk music. Grilling and selling the food were the folks from Internationalists Books, with the proceeds going to that organization. Ellen Perry coordinated creating flowers at this event. Exhibiting artists were on hand to answer questions about their pieces. Click here for more pictures of the Weaver St. Market reception.
Festivities began with an introduction and thoughts from 5000 Flowers organizer Anke Gassen. Mike Nelson, the Mayor of Carrboro, also said a few words, then introduced Kate Lovelady, Carrboro's Poet Laureate, who read a poem she wrote in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Dancing their way through the gathering were a Tahitian dancer handing out leis and flowers, members of Belly Revelations, Flowers of the Desert, Orientale Expressions, Shahzaadee - Princess of Belly Dance, Betsy Bickel, and Katjasineh.
- Arbor Realty "Women in Bloom" reception Wed, September 4, 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
NC Crafts Gallery reception Friday, September 6, 6 pm.
- Green Room Gallery potluck reception Saturday, September 7, 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
- Jim-Gin Farm "Petals from Metal" reception Monday, September 9, 4:30 - 8 pm.
- University Mall Flower Vigil Wednesday, September 11, 7:00. Bring a fresh flower.
- Weaver St. Market (Carrboro) reception Thursday, September 12, 5 - 8 pm
- Monart reception Saturday, September 14, 3 - 6 pm.
- Culbreth Middle School reception September 17, at back to school night.
- Smith Middle School Open House & reception Tuesday, September 17, 7 pm
- Terra Nova reception Thursday, September 26, 5 - 7 pm.
There were 10 local public schools involved in our project. Other participants included the ArtsCenter summer camp students, Amy Abernethy, Lucia Anderson, Colleen Black-Semelka, MarŪa Claro, Vidabeth Bensen, Cathy Boyd, Elvira Butler, Wendy Calloway, Central Elementary School Brownie Troop 1274, Chapel Hill High School students with teachers Pamela Pate and Victoria Sylvestre, Lil Cherry & John Kernon, Culbreth Middle School students with teachers Holly Taylor Novak and Crystal Vaught, Barbie Dalton, Teddy Devereux, Gene Dillard, East Chapel Hill High School students with teachers Peggy McGill, Melissa Vrooman, and Carol Lawler Turnage, Lisa Elfers, Ephesus Elementary School students with teacher Nara Strickland, John Faust & family, Monica Ferrell, Mary Fortin, John Foster, Riley Foster, Louise Francke, Laura Frankstone, Mary Beth Gangemi, Ellen Giamportone, Virginia Gibbons, Maggi Grace, Jim Haberman, Jimmy Haynes, Margret Hazen, Jan Higgins, Gordon Jameson, Helen Knapp, Mary Anne Kluger, Patti Krieselman, Sylvia Lacey, Carroll Lassiter, Jenee Lazarus, Hunter Levinsohn, Nerys Levy, Chris Leonard, Frank Mangieri, Diane Manning, Toni Mason, Betty Mayes, Robert Mays, Kim McCoullough, McDougle Elementary School students with teachers Janet Oldham and Gina Conyers, McDougle Middle School students with teachers Chris Harkey and Kate Parrent, Meredith Mayer, Ken Maynor, Debbie Meyer, Howard Meyer, Jim Meyer, Scott Meyer, Virginia Meyer, Lea Midgett, Monart Drawing School students, Tamara Mulanix, Pat Nenninger, Julia O'Daly, Stephanie O'Daly, Linda Passman, Sarah Porreca, Roni Peterson, Phillips Middle School students with teacher Angela Greene, Anna Radzicka, Angel P. Redoble, Thomas Rockriver, Mike Roig, Saint Thomas More Catholic School students with teacher Barbara Ives, Patricia E. Sawin, Seawell Elemenatry School students with teacher Annie Cramer, Scroggs Elementary School students with teacher Eliza Mantyh, Laura Shmania, Lori Skoumal, Sally Smith, Smith Middle School students with teacher Missy Valentine, Rita Spina, David Stickel, Thimble Pleasures (Quilt Challenge using the Northcott State Flower fabrics), Nancy Tilly, Dania Toth, Erin Alquire Vickery, Volunteers for Youth, Grace Li Wang, Carolyn Watterson, Pam Weaver, Emily E. Weinstein, and Jim Williams.
We had around 75 participating artists and friends come to the Century Center Monday evening, August 26, to deliver their work. By the end of the night we had hung nearly 100 pieces at the first 3 venues in Carrboro. Placement of the art continued all over Carrboro and Chapel Hill, with the final venue being hung during the week of September 11, 2002.
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