Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies Opens Saturday at Cleveland Botanical Garden

– Show Runs February 25 – March 26

- Colorful orchids & live butterflies will cheer visitors

- Show explores inspirational relationship between orchids, butterflies, and visual art

CLEVELAND, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ — February and March in Northern Ohio elicit the “blahs” – right?

Wrong! For the past two years, Cleveland Botanical Garden’s “Orchid Mania” show has been an appealing respite from the grey of late winter. This year, the Garden’s orchid show offers all of the beauty, color, scent and magic visitors have come to expect. In addition, visitors will delight in the enchanting butterflies in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse – especially on sunny days. “Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies” will probe the fascinating relationships between orchids and butterflies and also show the ways in which both orchids and butterflies serve as inspiration in the worlds of art and design. The show runs from February 25 through March 26 during the Garden’s regular visitor hours (Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday: Noon – 5:00 p.m.), and the event is free with regular Garden admission (adults: $7.50; children (3-10): $3; members, children under 3: free). Cleveland Botanical Garden is located at 11030 East Boulevard in University Circle, Cleveland’s cultural district.

“‘Orchid Mania,’” says Brian E. Holley, the Garden’s executive director, “has been such a crowd-pleaser for the past two years, so we thought, ‘Why not make it even better by increasing the number of butterflies in the Glasshouse?’ Butterflies are the orchids of the animal world, and Cleveland Botanical Garden is the only place visitors can see live butterflies at this time of year.” With an Arts and Culture as Economic Development grant from Cuyahoga County, the Garden has expanded this signature event.

Orchids and butterflies have long been inspirational for artists and designers. “Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies” will explore this relationship. The design team of Lloyd L. Taplin, Floral Designer Tasha Tobin of Fleurs, in Akron, Ohio, and the Garden’s Larry Giblock will create a striking installation in the main lobby entitled “Composition Updraft.” It will establish the artistic mood of the show, speaking to both man’s creative vision and the inherent beauty found in nature. A series of tornado-shaped structures fabricated from the detailed weaving of natural materials, this suspended, sculptural composition will take hundreds of specialized volunteer hours to construct and use both live orchid cuts and design elements evocative of live butterflies.

As visitors move into the building to visit the Eppig Gallery, they will see a series of exotic orchids behind frames, a presentation that blurs the lines between art and nature. Painterly moth orchids with splashes of lemon yellow, pastel lavenders, striking whites and soft pinks; the sculptural flower stalks of Oncidium, which rise almost two feet tall; the subtle variations of colorful, multi-flowering Cymbidiums – this is the stuff, quite literally, of which art is made. As they make their way through the show, visitors will get to explore the many ways in which orchids and butterflies have inspired art. The Garden’s Clark Hall will have the feeling of an art gallery and include an invitational design exhibit in which floral artists have been asked to interpret the intricate relationship between butterflies and orchids.

“Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies” includes a wealth of programming and educational opportunities to learn about orchids, butterflies, and their roles in art. As always, visitors will have an opportunity to “Ask the Orchid Doctor” (Sundays, March 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; free with admission). They may also learn to create their own butterfly gardens at home (Saturdays, March 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; free with admission). A free lecture on Saturday, March 4 by Cleveland Museum of Art instructor Seema Rao will address “The Art of Flora: Depiction of Flowers in Western and Eastern Art” (1:00 – 2:00 p.m.; register in advance by calling (216) 707-2860). Another free lecture on March 18 by expert Tom Sampliner will provide information on “Native Ohio Orchids” (1:00 – 2:00 p.m.; register in advance by calling (216) 707-2860). Special workshops will be held in conjunction with instructors from Cleveland Museum of Art, with topics including “Chinese Brush Painting” (Saturday, March 4; fees apply) and “Silk Painting: Focus on the Orchid” Saturday, March 11; fees apply).

For a complete list of all the exciting “Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies” programs, prices and registration information, visit www.cbgarden.org.

A special Orchid Mania Preview Party will be held Friday, February 24 from 6:00 p.m. to Midnight. With support from catering sponsor InterContinental Hotel Cleveland and Gary Pildner at the keyboard, the event promises exceptional food, drink and entertainment and an opportunity to enjoy an evening of exotic orchids and enchanting butterflies – before the exhibits open to the public the next day. Tickets will available through the Garden’s website, www.cbgarden.org, on February 1, or by calling (216) 707-2834.

Orchid Mania: Blossoms & Butterflies is made possible by the generous support of:

Catering sponsor: InterContinental Hotels Cleveland

Show sponsors: Arcadia GlassHouse

Show supporter: Baker Hostetler

Cleveland Botanical Garden, which began as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland, the country’s first urban garden center, celebrated its 75th anniversary year in 2005. A nonprofit garden, the institution is a national leader in urban horticulture and botanical education. From its 10-acre campus in University Circle to three inner-city learning gardens and dozens of outdoor classrooms at area schools, the Garden has introduced the benefits of gardening to thousands of people of all ages, interests, backgrounds and abilities. Since its founding in 1930, education has been the core of the Garden’s mission, guiding expansion in recent years to include urban outreach, school programs that support national academic standards, and sustainable economic development. It has 6,000 members and bi-annually hosts the nation’s largest outdoor flower show. The Garden’s website is at www.cbgarden.org.

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