Monday, May 10, 2010

Garden art gala at gallery

Normally I don’t cover gallery happenings, but this is an exception for two reasons: one, I love this gallery, and two, their opening gala featured a metal artist I am a big fan of.  And a bonus reason because it’s Monday: The show was called “The Artful Garden.”  Now what kind of responsible garden blogger would I be if I wasn’t covering the big garden art happenings?

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Back in February, Half Moon Creek Gallery and Glass Company shuttered their doors in Anchorage and headed down the road a piece to Palmer.  I managed to stifle a sob when told of this move, but croaked out, “why?”  Apparently the gals have families in Palmer that wanted to see them occasionally.  The nerve.  After making the round trip for the show, I can see how driving for an hour each way would seem like a time suck.  At least the scenery was picturesque.  Can’t say that about many highways….

halfmooncreek 119 The featured artist, Cindy Shake, has been working long hours for this show.  I’ve been following her blog, by the way, which is good fun for those of us that are, how shall I say it, less than handy with the welding torch.  The Last Frontier Gardener can only dream of creating beautiful things out of metal, but for a few ugly things I’ve welded, see here and here.  (I snapped up the toothy fish below to add to my collection of “tough” art that the kids can bounce balls around.)

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I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the garden art being displayed outside, though it did challenge my already subpar photography skills (check me out in the window reflection taking the picture below).  I didn’t have to lay on too many cars to get a few shots of the goods.  Love the sax reuse in the photo below.  It reminded me of a saxophone fountain I saw at the garden show in Seattle.  Maybe brass instruments are going to be popular in garden art….  To ensure I was restrained in my purchases, I left the full-size truck at home.

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The gallery was still in the process of unpacking, but I was assured they would have most of their inventory out for display “in a few days.”  Meanwhile, I was appreciating their opening hors d’oeuvres as I had brought no lunch.  As a frequent attendee of gallery shows, I was impressed with the grub.  One posh gallery in Anchorage (in)famously serves an atrocious, cheap cracker mix in a giant bowl for their openings.  Gross.  Nothing like that for these classy gals: grapes, cheeses, breads (I saw focaccia!), and were those chocolate-dipped macaroons?  Whatever they were, they were lunch.  Thanks, ladies.

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Half Moon Creek is also a glass gallery and workshop and they are working on a space for their glass crafting classes.  I was just enjoying all the wild colors of the glass sheets, rods, and dust.  Surely some reader knows what all these bits and bobs are for?

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There were a few other collections out that weren’t part of the show.  Taking photos at a gallery opening was a little trickier than I had supposed.  Dodging patrons and trying not to step back into something fragile and expensive kept me on my toes.

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For those contemplating a drive to Palmer, Half Moon Creek is at 439 W. Elmwood Avenue off the Glen Highway, or in Alaska lingo, on the corner that doesn’t have a McDonalds, Carrs Grocery Store, or gas station.  Go soon for Cindy Shake’s garden art, go anytime for a fun, friendly gallery with with plenty to see (or in my case, buy: Happy Mother’s Day to me).   

Any great galleries in your area?  Garden art you can’t live without? 


  1. Wow, what gorgeous artwork. I love the stained glass and the Dragonfly. They are all so wonderful though. I can see why you wanted to attend.

  2. The good grub was from an amazing restaurant in Palmer (yes, it's true -- they eat great food in Palmer!) called Turkey Red. Next time you brave the drive, you should plan a lunch stop there. You won't be disappointed.

  3. Oh, oh oh!!! The dragonfly!! I collect dragonflies, sigh. But I don't live in the States, so it would be too problematic to find one around here.

    What a great part of the world to live in, and yes, I could see a problem with borderline plants not making it.

    As for the welding, I say, "you go girl", the more you practice, the sooner you can turn out those dragonflies yourself.

    Glass, and rusted metal, I am in heaven.


  4. oh my goodness that metal art is fantastic. Wish I was a lot closer to Alaska. Thanks for sharing. Marguerite

  5. Fabulous artwork and looks like a great shop too. We have the Oklahoma City Art Museum. It's fine. I really like our local art festivals held in April and May. You get to see the good stuff then. :)

    Looks like things are warming up on the Last Frontier (finally).~~Dee

  6. Great dodging shots ... if there, might be hustling Jen for the dragonfly!

  7. First of all... thanks for your comment on lewisia... I suspected the drainage thing, but didn't realize that lots of sun was important as 've read they could be grown in half shade. I liked your blog on the 10th and it also makes me realize I need to get out of the garden once in a while and back into the glass studio working on my commissions! It's really tough this time of the year! Larry

  8. Oh, I love the dragonfly and the sheep! Very cool exhibit. Yes, you were most responsible in sharing it. :)

  9. I'm glad you covered this! What fun, creative, and beautiful pieces. It'd be so fun to take a glass class.

  10. Charming and whimsical art for your garden!

  11. The art you share today is AMAZING! I love it... we have lots in common.

    Happy Spring - I look forward to sharing summer blooms with you!

  12. What a wonderful show! I like the fishes. I am always amazed at what creative people can do with pieces of metal. glass, and other materials I would have no idea how to put together.

  13. Very nice, there are some lovely looking peaces there!

  14. Hi Christine,

    I do not usually indulge in art, but I do love art that is inspired by nature. The art in your pictures is just beautiful :-)

  15. Heights of creativity! Whoa! I love art!

  16. Wow! That is a really talented artist! I have many happy memories of my trip to Alaska. Happy Days!

  17. Beautifull art. Thanks for commenting in my blog. Have you forund pillows to your gardenfurniture yet. I am still looking for wooden furniture to go with the bench.

  18. This garden art is to die for. I would love to have a piece of it. I bet it would cost and arm and a leg to have it shipped down here. You are a lucky lady to have this available to you. I haven't seen any such things around here. We do have an art gallery here. It is fun to see all that is presented. Once per month there is a big do. I try to attend. A friend of mine usually plays music for the showing.

  19. superbly written article....i loved the toothy fish the best!


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