Creativity blossoms at ‘Art in the Park’

By Chris Berendt -

An easel fashioned from thick branches, large frogs and watering pots made from tires, hose and pool noodles and everything from bicycles and chandeliers to horseshoes and strip metal were re-purposed into decorative pieces that would pop in any yard or garden.

Visitors could take it all in Saturday at the first-ever “Art in the Park,” organized by the Sampson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program on the Sampson County Cooperative Extension grounds off U.S. 421 south of Clinton. The master gardeners invited people to have a look, while enjoying some homemade lavender shortbread cookies and some strawberry mint-infused water.

The pieces were on display to not only show the creativity of the master gardeners, but bring people out to the group’s annual azalea sale.

The sale, which showcased azaleas, geraniums, super bells and assorted herbs, will extend over the coming weeks at the Extension Office, located at 55 Agriculture Place, Clinton. The money raised is used for various gardens and projects that are kept up by the master gardeners.

The group, 20-strong, has sponsored herb cooking classes — there was another at the Extension office Saturday coinciding with the yard art display and plant sales — and has put on outreach events and seminars targeting those of all ages as way to promote the group, as well as educate and engage others.

The latest innovation to promote its efforts was “Art in the Park,” which showcased piece after piece of yard art. There were old chairs, grills and other items that, instead of being discarded as junk, were re-painted and re-purposed into planters.

There was an old bicycle wrapped in Mardi Gras beads, a watering pot wrapped in a grapevine and hung in a frame from a tree. There was even an old broken-down corn picker in the wood line near the Extension office that the master gardeners supplemented with eyes and a tongue to become a dinosaur.

Master Gardeners president Mary Burke-Bass said she pleased with the response to “Art in the Park” received, and looked forward to similar events in the future.

“I would have liked to see more people, but for our first time doing this we are pleased,” said Burke-Bass of the inaugural art event. “I was happy to see the people that came out and had a look around.”

The azalea sale will be open from Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through April.

By Chris Berendt

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.


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