5000 Flowers Project
Growing impatiens from my Carrboro garden

5000 Flowers Project coordinator Anke Gassen paints the local 5000 Flowers Project logo she designed onto the window at Weaver Street Market.
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.

What Folks Are Saying

Young artist Keegan Durovich presents his piece - Monarch Flower - at the Century Center Monday evening "I am not an experienced artist, but I have been deeply moved by the tragedy, since my husband served as a rescue technician in New York City immediately following the attacks. It has been a devastating year that has brought sadness into our lives, but I am hopeful that I can bring some good to others as a result."

"I am a local metal artist and would love to participate in the commemoration of last years terrible tragedy. I think about it every day and think that this is a positive way to express with others what's in our hearts. It will be a powerful and healing experience I'm sure."

"I read about you in this morning's paper and the 5000 flowers for 9/11. My brother died that day; thanks for doing what you are doing."

"I would like to participate in the 5,000 flower program. I live in Chapel Hill and I am eleven years old. I am particularly aware of September 11 because my friend's dad barely got out alive from the North Tower. Considering my age, this is one of the only things I can do to help."

"I am definitely interested in being a part of this recognition. I'm from New York originally and lost a cousin who was a firefighter and died saving lives on 9/11."

"Here in Carrboro and Chapel Hill this is much more than just about the victims of September 11. It's about the desire to end violence in all areas of our lives."

"Itís going to be so cool to have flowers all over both towns, just to let people know we havenít forgotten. Itís a great tribute."

5000 Flowers NC

The front window of the ArtsCenter in Carrboro is adorned with artwork created by children in the ArtsCenter summer camps. Coordinating the effort locally is artist Hunter Levinsohn, a longtime friend of Adamec. Added to the mix were Anke Gassen, marketing assistant from Weaver St. Market, Deborah Meyer from the Chapel Hill News, and Jackie Helvey from the Carrboro Art Committee and Carrboro.Com. The idea really began to bloom.

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.

Hollie Taylor Novak displays some of students' flowers at The Inside Scoop 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.

Students at Monart Drawing School make flowers for the 5000 Flowers Exhibit under the leadership of teacher Kim McCullough.

Venues and Receptions

Lotus by Mary Anne Kluger We filled venues in Carrboro and Chapel Hill with artistically created flowers. Participating venues included Weaver St. Market, Carrboro Town Hall, The Century Center, The ArtsCenter, Terra Nova Global Realty, West End Wine Bar, Top of the Hill Restaurant, Chapel Hill Senior Center, Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill Town Hall & Fire Station, JimGin Farm, Green Room Gallery, Chapel Hill Museum, Arbor Realty, A New Attitude, Inside Scoop, Monart Drawing School, University Mall, NC Crafts Gallery, Digital Central, and Sizl Gallery, with flowers blooming at each of these locations.

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.

Belly-dancingFestivities 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.

Sherri Wood's quilt Florabunda hangs at Weaver St. Market in Southern Village - 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.

Children at the ArtsCenter summer camp made flowers for the 5000 Flowers Exhibit. These photos were taken by art teacher Lori Skoumal.

Folks Participating

Folks filled out loads of paperwork Monday evening at the Century CenterThere 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, Hanging at Carrboro Town HallMcDougle 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.

The Artwork

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.

button A listing of where artwork in the Century Center, Carrboro Town Hall, and Weaver St. Market is being exhibited.
button Arbor Realty 5000 Flowers
button Inside Scoop Culbreth Middle School Students
button Jim Gin Farm "Petals From Metal"
button NC Crafts Gallery, featuring Thimble Pleasures Quilt Challenge
button Culbreth Middle School
button Phillips Middle School
button Smith Middle School
button Terra Nova Global Realty
button McDougle Schools
button Scroggs Elementary School
button Seawell Elementary School
button Senior Center exhibit
button Chapel Hill Town Hall
button Weaver St. Market reception
button West End Wine Bar & Top of the Hill Restuarant
Nancy Whittington, Meredith Mayer, and Debbie Meyer work on hanging the Arbor Realty 5000 Flowers Exhibit

Many thanks go out to all of the folks who gave us a piece of their souls by creating art to exhibit, everyone who showed up to help hang the exhibits, Weaver St. Market and Digital Central in Carrboro for printing the posters and venues map, organizers Anke Gassen, Hunter Levinsohn, Debbie Meyer, Jackie Helvey, and Holly Taylor Novak, who started out strangers and ended up friends, and UniqueOrn Enterprises for documenting this incredible event online.

Mike Roig's piece at the Chapel Hill Museum

Tamera Mulanix's Mandala Flower

5000 Flowers
Riley Foster and his Bottle Tree