The Memphis Flower Show is All Modern and All Memphis!

Flower arrangements will accompany paintings from Modern Dialect: American Paintings from the John and Susan Horseman Collection on April 28th( 9 am – 6 pm) and 29th (11 am – 5 pm) at the biennial Memphis Flower Show

Organized by the Memphis Garden Club, the Memphis Flower Show is a Garden Club of America Major Flower Show and a popular event that gardeners and horticultural enthusiasts look forward to every year. 

Cary Brown, Memphis Garden Club President, was interviewed by Leah Fitzpatrick for RSVP Magazine recently. Read about the Memphis Garden Club, 2012 Memphis Flower Show, get a sneak peek of paintings in Modern Dialect, and then make plans to attend this unique Memphis event at the Dixon for free!
    GEORGE COPELAND AULT (1891-1948) Active in New York The Stairway, 1921. Oil on canvas


RSVP: What are your responsibilities as the Memphis Garden Club president?
The most obvious responsibilities are to see the continuation of ongoing work we’re doing and organizations we’re supporting, but also to run board and membership meetings. I oversee all the positions that other people have and check in with them to make sure that the goals of the club are being continuously satisfied and that no one’s dropping the ball—it could be me, I’m not judging. I would say a lot of it is motivation and encouragement because it is a volunteer organization, and there’s a lot of work to do. By far, the largest job we have is putting on the Memphis Flower Show. The Memphis Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club of America (GCA), and there are 200 clubs in America affiliated with this larger body. We started in 1921 and joined the Garden Club of America in 1925, and we are only one of a handful of clubs who puts on a GCA Major Flower Show.
    ROY HILTON (1891-1963) Active in Pittsburgh, Back to the Barn, ca. 1947. Oil on canvas


RSVP: What are the requirements to become a GCA Major Flower Show?

We have to hold the show at least every three years, have at least 36 flower arrangements, have at least 100 horticulture entries and the judges have to be approved by GCA. Let me just say, our show is much, much bigger than that. We’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 flower arrangements and probably around 600 or 700 horticulture entries. There also has to be a conservation and/or education division, and we have both.
  FRANK WILCOX (1887-1964) Active in Cleveland, Three Girls on Rocks, 1930. Oil on canvas


RSVP: Can you give me a general overview of the Memphis Flower Show?

There are five parts to the show. The first is a flower arranging component. In the show schedule, there are pictures of each painting in the Dixon’s “Modern Dialect: American Paintings from the John and Susan Horseman Collection” exhibition, along with every painting’s dimensions and name, and each one of these paintings we sell to a flower arranger to interpret. We call it selling, but no price is involved. This year, there are 63 paintings, and they’ve been divided into classes. There will be a blue ribbon awarded within each one of these classes. One unusual thing we’re doing is the Exceptional Exhibition Table Class, which is about creating a table arrangement. There are five paintings in this class, and teams of two or three people do these because they’re big. They are actually setting a table with a flower arrangement with the implication of eating, but no tableware. The table is a 48-inch square, and it will be viewed from all sides. It’s really thinking way outside of the box. The other unusual thing that’s really cool is the American Dream Challenge Class, which is where five people walk in and are given the exact same material, but they don’t know what the material is until they walk in. They know they’re interpreting a certain painting, but they know nothing else. It’s open to out-of-town judges only because they don’t have to bring anything with them. It’s almost like “Iron Chef” for flower arranging because it is timed.
Read more of Brown’s interview here! Invite friends to the show through our facebook event!