Those of you fortunate enough to have attended James DelPrince’s floral design session at the 2016 Growers’ School in Baton Rouge know that James is an talented designer, an enthusiastic proponent—and user of—locally-grown flowers, and a visual artist looking to stretch boundaries.
He’ll be bringing that same spirit to this year’s Oregon Fringe Festival, held in Ashland, May 3-7, as the featured floral designer in “Concerto for Florist.” This piece was composed by Dr. Mark Applebaum, currently of Stanford University.
As James explains, “Prior to his work at Stanford University, Mark was on the music education faculty at Mississippi State. He, another faculty member and I, developed and performed what is now this particular concerto at a bagel restaurant in Starkville, Mississippi many years ago.
This composition involves many different types of musicians, instruments, and involves performance art. During the concerto, musicians not only play instruments, but are given assigned tasks such as to pack a suitcase, make a phone call, and so on. My job is to design flowers. This video link provides a visual explanation, a performance with the La Jolla Symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuhIAvKhOb0
“Variations of the concerto have been performed in the past. In them, I have relied on large-scale props such as scissor lifts, ladders, and automobile parts. These items became floral containers, all of which were prepared prior to the performance with a variety of traditional and non-traditional floral design mechanics. During the concerto, I filled the props with flowers and foliage, as well as performed any of the other performance art tasks. As we see it in this work, floral design is not just an activity or a product, but is also a performance.”
James connected with Joan Thorndike, owner of Le Mera Gardens in Ashland. Joan grows certified organic fresh flowers, foliage, branches, and ornamental berries on ten acres of open fields, and several unheated hoophouses. She sells to florists and local businesses, and for weddings and special events. James will use some of Joan’s floral products in this very special performance.
This synergy between ASCFG members cannot be missed!