Art in Bloom event to expand in 2012

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, November 17, 2011

Art will bloom to life in downtown Landrum next spring just as it did this past year in Tryon.

The Landrum City Council Nov. 8 approved a request to block off a portion of Trade Avenue May 12 for Art in Bloom, an art and garden bazaar sponsored by the Tryon Fine Arts Center.

Event Chair Judy Warden brought the request to council and explained that the event helps to promote farmers, artists and nurseries, all while working to beautify the towns involved.

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“The concept of artscapes is to develop in Tryon, Landrum and Columbus small pockets of spaces to create public art,” Warden said. “This event raises funds to support that project.”

The event started in Tryon with 10 vendors. Organizers anticipate at least 30 signing up this year. Vendors who participate kick back 15 percent of their sales from the bazaar to the artscapes project. In its first year, Art in Bloom raised $1,500. The next year it raised $2,500.

Participating vendors and attendees travel to the event from Asheville, Hendersonville, Shelby and other surrounding communities.

TFAC board member Stuart Evans conceived the idea for the event a few years ago.

“I think this is just the beginning of something that could grow into a really exciting event and not only beautify our area but support our artists,” Stewart said.

Evans said the arts center wants to focus on the “TLC” of the area – Tryon, Landrum and Columbus.

Evans said in the past, the group has always promoted the Columbus Farmers Market at the bazaars but would like to do something more formal to connect the events.

Melanie Jennings, president of the Landrum Business Association, said she would be in favor of participating in this event instead of Landrum’s own Home & Garden Stroll in an effort to connect the communities in a common goal.

About 400 people took part in the last garden tours and more than 600 visited the bazaar in Tryon last year, Evans said.

The weekend-long event in 2012 will run May 11-13. On Friday, May 11 there will be a gala to raise money for the Tryon Fine Arts Center; Saturday, May 12 will feature tours of five gardens and of course, the bazaars in Tryon and Landrum; and then Sunday a reception will be held at TFAC for a juried sculpture show.

Evans said she currently knows of no other juried event that focuses strictly on sculpture.

“We think this is something that could grow and become of regional importance,” Evans said.