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Making Arrangements art exhibit explores the many moods of floral design at Goodyear Arts

 By Shirley Griffith

January 7, 2020

When one hears the term “making arrangements,” most often funerals come to mind. Grief and loss in their quiet natural wisdom segue into planning: raw hearts beat into lists of who to call, despairing turns into ordering bouquets of sympathy; busying oneself turns into structure and that is how, breath by breath, we survive the most jarring parts of our human experience. But what about the smaller parts of life that cause deep grief, where we choose to bury some things and construct pillars of purpose for others? 

Film Still by Lora Mathis

On January 10, “making arrangements” embodies the florist’s precision of arranging, and is the title of a specially curated art show opening at Goodyear Arts. The show will feature works from regional artists as well as artists from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Richmond. Curator Rebecca Henderson said of the show and its title, “I wanted to be able to communicate the duality of the work [the show] contains. Yes, there is a bouquet: the colorful beauty, a tantalizing expression and a bold optimism. But there are also those arrangements whose wilting marks the fragility and banality of living– that the days simply pass.” 

Henderson has made a name for herself in a variety of ways around Charlotte. She co-curated the 2016 show Unibrow with local sculpture artist Grace Stott, continues to co-curate a mobile and accessibility-driven gallery, Wheeling Art Dealing, and just last year started Southern Ladies Arm Wrestling (an inclusive arm wrestling league open to all femme-identifying folks). Henderson is active in the arts community and handpicked each artist based off the content, concept, or context of their work as it pertains to the Making Arrangements curatorial proposal. 

Art by Corey Pemberton

“This is a group exhibition which reflects on the exquisite task of balancing living alongside the tender clutter of having lived. Beyond unifying floral imagery, themes of joyful resistance, common nostalgia and conflicted sentimentality also run through the work,” Henderson said.  “This show was my opportunity to experiment with how to approach curatorial work as a kind of temporal bouquet. Many methods of floral design exist in this beautiful space between language and mathematics, and as a curator, I wanted to challenge myself to work within this same balancing framework.”

Making Arrangements opens at Goodyear Arts on Friday, January 10 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and features work from Amy Bagwell, Corey Pemberton, Dennissa Young, Garrett Alan Fees, Grace Stott, Hailey Elise Hughes, Kassiane Patselas, Kaye Blegvad, Lora Mathis, Lucy Gillis, Marissa Paternoster (of The Screaming Females), Sami Cronk, Taylor Lee and William Mize. 

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