About the Exhibition
Eighteen students from the sixth-grade math class at St. Ann’s School have begun the planting of 8,000 tulip bulbs in the Artists’ Garden at Brooklyn Borough Hall. This will be an artistic floral salute to the Brooklyn Bridge, which is celebrating its 100th birthday next spring. The planting will continue throughout the weekend by other volunteers.
The Artist’s Garden was designed by Jane Greengold (USA), who helped Brooklyn Borough President Howard S. Golden plant the first bulb. She then supervised her 11-year twin daughters and their classmates in executing her design. Greengold’s design won out over 24 garden concepts in an artists’ competition sponsored by the Public Art Fund, Inc. and The Rotunda Gallery of Borough Hall as part of the 1983 Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Celebration.
The Netherlands Flower Bulb Institute donated the thousands of multi-colored bulbs. According to Institute Director Robert LaRue, Greengold’s design is “one of the most dramatic vehicles ever created for showing the color range of tulips. The Dutch have a very special feeling about the Brooklyn Bridge. They did, after all, settle Brooklyn,” LaRue said. “Like the bridge, the tulip is both beautiful and practical.”
The Artist’s Garden will bloom in time for the opening of the New York State Flower Festival, which will take place on May 1, 1983. One of the major sites for the Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Celebration, the Garden will also be the stage for First Day ceremonies when the U.S. Postal Service issues its commemorative Brooklyn Bridge Centennial stamp on May 17.
Frames of Reference by Jane Greengold (USA) consists of four white picket fence structures radiating from a central point defined by a slate floor. At the end of each fence is an arched doorway that mirrors the structure of windows in the General Post Office building directly across the street from the site. The arrangement of pickets suggests an architectural space—windows, gates, fences, a central room. However, no enclosure is actually created. The individual pickets were carved by Greengold to form a variety of floral shapes. The piece is therefore a reflection on the elegance of the surrounding architecture and the simplicity of nature in the park. Greengold stated, “In many ways I think I benefited most from the residency as I was made aware of how people react to my artwork and public art in general.”