“Sun Salutation” was the theme, and the sun cooperated, warming temperatures into the low 90s at the sixth annual Art in the Garden event Sept. 15 at the Sunken Gardens.
Sunken Gardens Master Gardeners Steve Nosal and Alice Reed created the “Sun Salutation” theme for this year’s event.
“When Alice and I do this, there has to be music and color related to the theme,” Nosal said. “I wanted fire colors – reds and yellows. We started talking about that George Harrison song, “Here Comes the Sun,” and when we installed the plants, we had that music playing. We laid out our drawings and started creating suns with yellow cannas and rays coming out of them with different colors like red and white begonias.”
Art in the Garden was scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but people started arriving at 9 a.m. while over 50 artists set up their work in the Sunken Gardens, said Julia Noyes, owner of Noyes Art Gallery.
“I think it’s an even bigger turnout than last year,” she said that afternoon. “We think the 11 o’clock Husker football game increases our attendance. About 90,000 people go to the stadium, but about 180,000 don’t go to the game after tailgating. So this is an option for them. Plus, this is our sixth year, so people know about us.”
In addition to visiting with the artists about their work, guests heard 25 musicians and groups perform at various times throughout the gardens, watched dance groups demonstrate their performing art forms and listened to three different storytellers.
Near the storytellers were 6-foot kaleidoscopes that guests could look through while artists from the ArtReach program made them spin.
Parked beside the gardens was a trailer owned by Tom Weber that was recently painted in flowers by artists Noyes and Lynette Fast. Weber uses the trailer to transport plants from his Earth, Wind and Sun greenhouse located in Denton, Nebraska.
“It was just a white trailer for 10 years, and then Julia and Lynette painted it,” Weber said. “It took them three days.”
The artists donated a percentage of their art sales from Art in the Garden to the Lincoln Parks Foundation to benefit the Sunken Gardens. Over 100 volunteers helped with a wide range of tasks at the event, Noyes said.