Brunnier blooms with Iowa’s natural beauty

Lu McKeeman's (Coe's Floral and Gifts) untitled work inspired by Wagener's Prairie Fires and Other Personal Dilemmas

By Laura Stebbins, ThePerryNews Arts and Culture

Spring is the time of year when we want to see things blooming.  You could do just that March 27-29 at the Brunnier Art Museum in Ames during their annual “Brunnier in Bloom” event.  Area florists and others were invited to view the museum’s current exhibits, choose a piece of artwork that inspires and then create a floral arrangement that relates to the chosen artwork.

It’s a bit like recreating the chosen artwork through flowers.  Flowers and plants become the palette of paints for the florists.

Best in Show winner Daniel Brabec of Coe’s Floral and Gifts said of the Ellen Wagener piece that he chose, “I was instantly drawn to the organic nature of the artist’s work. The artist’s depiction of plant material and growth really inspired me to work with this piece.”

Anyone who enjoys making things grow will enjoy Wagener’s “Terra, Grass” piece, which depicts the intricacies of the root system within the soil.  Brabec’s untitled arrangement captures the essence of Wagener’s work.

While the blooms are now gone until next March, the inspiring artwork remains, including the current exhibit of uplifting Iowa landscapes by native Iowan Ellen Wagener.  If you live in Iowa and marvel at the beauty of our state, then this exhibit is for you.  You’ll be amazed at how well Wagener has captured your own experiences of Iowa’s beautiful landscapes.

The fields, the clouds, the horizon, the changing seasons, the changing weather and all the wonderful vibrant and changing colors and shapes are on view to enjoy.  You may wonder how she seems to have captured the view from your farm house window.

Even if you don’t view yourself as the “art museum type,” if you can enjoy an Iowa landscape, I’m confident you’ll enjoy Wagener’s exhibit.  In addition, while the staff of the University Museums is knowledgeable and on hand to answer any questions, they are also very welcoming and enjoy hearing visitors’ reactions to and interpretations of the art.

These museum staff members are not specialists who will tell you the “right” interpretation, because they believe one of the cool things about art is that the interpretations are unlimited and whatever your interpretation is is the “right” interpretation.

Brunnier Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.  It’s located in the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center in Ames.  Wagener’s work is on display through July 31.

For a local taste of Ellen Wagener’s landscapes, visit the Canisteo Room at the Hotel Pattee in Perry to see “Landscape Suite in Three Movements.”



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