Spring is in the air at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens. The botanical garden is hosting a special glass art exhibit through May 8th. “Floral Fusion” showcases the glass art of Craig Mitchell Smith. The exhibit features about 30 pieces of blown-glass art located throughout the visitors center’s main display hall and the Marjorie K. Daughtery Conservatory.
The exhibit is available for viewing both day and night. Night illuminations are offered 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday until April 19th.
The art pieces highlight current floral or plant displays. In the main hall, for instance, a 30-foot tall dandelion – “Making a Wish” – is scattering its seeds in the air.
One of my favorites is “Hollyhocks,” which is located in a bed of pretty flowers. The deep blue petals are beautiful regardless of the time, but they pop at night.
“Mr. Lincoln-Lilac” offers a radiant view of the sculpture among a bed of lilacs. The actual flowers and the art piece complements each other.
If you love sun flowers, you’ll like “Road to Provence.” A line of sun flowers reflect from the center’s glass from outside. This is the only art display outside the building. The yellow faces stood out against the snow that existed during our visit.
The majority of the glass art displays are in the conservatory. They are well-placed among the permanent exhibits. As soon as you enter, you see dancers in the waterfall near the entrance.
Lisa and I both loved the use of cardinals. A “Flock of cardinals” is dispersed among the trees, the ceiling and other spots, giving the impression the birds are flying, hanging out on branches and, otherwise, enjoying their digs.
A beautiful display of flowers is located near a fountain. A rainbow of colors pops on a few of the petals.
“The Pansies” are attractive to check out in a garden area. However, I thought the night illumination sharply brought out their yellow color.
We felt like we were at a vineyard with the “Grape Arbor” display. The use of multiple colors as grapes worked well with the green leaves. The art was draped over wood and a lantern, giving it an authentic vineyard feel.
Some of the floral designs were situated in pools. “Blue Reeds” really stood out among the nearby tropical trees and plants. This display was nice to view during the day, as well as the evening.
“Tropical Splendor” combined blue pieces with a palm tree. The pieces resembled nettings or jelly fish and they accentuated the tree well.
“Poppies of Oz” were sprinkled throughout the conservatory’s tropical garden. The staff did an excellent job in positioning the pieces.
The last couple of pieces we really liked had true Midwestern flavors. The first was “The Goldenrod.” This is actually Nebraska’s official state flower. It stood tall among the conservatory, overlooking the rest of the attraction.
In the conservatory’s back stairwell, “Autumn Curtain” lived up to its name. Dozens of glass leaves dangle from the ceiling, creating a curtain to view. The display was beautiful regardless of the angle you viewed.
The artist did an outstanding job in creating an impressive exhibit for visitors to enjoy. Smith, from Lansing, MI, spent time as a florist and set designer before embarking on his career as an artist tinkering in blown glass. He had his work displayed in galleries. He opened his own gallery in 2010. The Omaha exhibit is a mix between his portfolio and new designs, specifically created for the Lauritzen exhibit.
The art is amazing! The flowers and plant displays are, as always, outstanding. We encourage everyone to check out “Floral Fusion.”
For more information on the exhibit or the botanical gardens, please visit www.lauritzengardens.org.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Lauritzen for the complimentary tickets. However, all opinions and views are ours.