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A Taste of Wildflowers

Winter is coming...

...but the wildflowers are still blooming at the Arts Center.

Our November exhibit is up and ready for you to take a walk among the flowers. The artist for this month is Lydia E. Curtis. In 1958 at the age of 72, Lydia began what would become over 250 plates of wildflowers and descriptions of the individual plants. This project would take over 15 years in total. Below is an introduction by the artist herself.

"In presenting these sketches of spring wild flowers, I have not attempted to show all plant structures in scientific detail. I have tried to show the coloring and beauty of these flowers so even a child may recognize them and enjoy them when found. With the rare, hard to find flowers, I hope to help preserve the memory of their beauty. Even during the span of my lifetime, vast prairies of the Midwest have been subdivided into farm tracts and are now cultivated. Many swampy, marshy areas have been tiled and drained, so are now making up the fertile acres that produce America’s fabulous yields of corn, wheat and other grains. Woodlands, too, have been cut over, cleared, and either cultivated or pastured. All of this has helped build up our material prosperity and our culture as we know it. However, there has also been a loss. Our unexploited woodlands, prairies, and swamps had a wealth of plant growth which has been displaced with cultivated crops. Among these plants are many of our choicest wild flowers. To simplify travel conditions, even roadsides are mowed at regular intervals, too often cutting down any chance wild flowers before they have had time to form and ripen seed. Hence our wild flowers are becoming less abundant; many varieties are rare. Only the more hardy ones remain with us in appreciable numbers. Flowers in all of their varying color and form have always intrigued me. Thus, in humble reverence, I offer these sketches fully aware they do not show the glow and glory of the flowers themselves, but in the hope that they may help others to experience the joy I have known because of our native wild flowers."

Lydia E. Curtis, 1973, Morris, Minnesota

Here are a few samples of her work.

33 of these beautiful works can be seen in person through November. Please be aware that we require masks for the safety of our staff and visitors. Masks are available at the entrance if you forget yours.

Holiday Market

Need a special one of a kind gift for the holidays? Want to buy local and support the arts? Do you dread over crowded stores? The Charles City Arts Center has you covered. All through November and December our Holiday Art Market is open. Browse all kinds of art from hand crafted jewelry to woodworking, pottery to paintings, textiles, artisan soaps and more. This year we even offer gift wrapping! Call or email if you want to set up a private shopping appointment. Please note that we will be limiting customers to 10 at a time. More details will be given soon. Follow us on facebook for updates.

Have a safe and happy season and somewhere between the turkey and the mistletoe find time to Discover Your Center.

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