Explore the Japanese art of flower arrangement, Ikebana, with an exhibit by nonprofit Chapter 65 of Ikebana International. This year the group presents “Baskets and Blooms” as the exhibition theme at the Treasure Island Community Center, Jan. 21-22.
This is the 15th annual Ikebana exhibit the group has held at the community center. According to Gretchen Warren, chairperson of the exhibition, around 70 arrangements will be displayed by 55 of the group’s members.
Traditional Ikebana are staged in ceramic vases, but the chosen theme this year will have the flowers in baskets, “ranging from Japanese antiques to contemporary, bamboo structures.”
This event also features demonstrations by renowned teachers of Ikebana. Two teachers will demonstrate their designs each day; one at 11 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Susan Thorpe and Dr. Ric Carrasco will present on Saturday, Jan, 21 and Barbara Goss and Jeanne Houlton will be on Sunday, Jan. 22.
There are a lot of rules when it comes to traditional Ikebana arrangement, one in particular is that arrangements do not use fake flowers, which means members most often prepare their arrangements close to the day of the exhibition to keep them fresh.
“One of the great things about studying Ikebana is that you learn all about different floral materials,” Warren said. “You learn how to condition them and you learn which ones lasts longer than others.”
Warren explained that arrangements should give off the feeling that the flowers are alive; Ikebana translates to “living flower” or “making flowers alive.”
Warren joined the chapter about 15 years ago and encourages anyone who enjoys Japanese culture or flower arrangement to get involved.
“The motto of Ikebana International is ‘friendship with flowers,’ so everybody involved in this will tell you that the friendships they make become really wonderful and lasting because the members of this group are such interesting and lovely people,” Warren said.
Their monthly meetings are sociable events often featuring Japanese Ikebana masters who demonstrate various arrangements. The group also enjoys different aspects of Japanese culture, such as holding their own Japanese tea ceremonies. In the afternoon, they eat lunch together and hold Ikebana workshops for two hours on specific designs.
This Ikebana International chapter is excited to display their work with locals and visitors in the area. The show is free and open to the public.
Treasure Island Community Center, 154 106th Ave., Treasure Island. Jan. 21-22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.