But is it Art?

Garden art at the Allentown Festival


This will be quite a series of Buffalo-centric posts, as you’ll see, but I could not resist sharing with the Rant crowd what is taking place outside my doorstep this weekend. For some years I have noticed that more and more of the wares sold at the Allentown Art Festival, a huge outdoor arts and crafts vendathon held every year here since 1957, are clearly meant for the garden. I guess even if less people are gardening, they still need tchotchkies to dress up the gardens they aren’t gardening in. There is quite a range, but nearly everything has a purpose, from traditional plant holders and trellises to a huge variety of devices meant to dispense water, including many types of decorative sprinklers and even some outdoor showers (at top).

BirdbathThen there were some very pretty glass objects meant to hold candles, serve as birdbaths, and catch the sun.

Perhaps because it is summer, the craftspeople are aiming at outdoor living, but I find it encouraging that there is such an increasing number of garden objects at this show. Of course, not all are to my taste, but I am considering a black free-standing hanging basket holder (a good way to add quick color to a bed of perennial foliage), and I’m always up for ways to light the garden at night, though colored glass candle holders may not be the solution. As I don’t live in Margaritaville, however, I will never be the purchaser of any of these.


Elsewhere at the festival, some artists are emulating the natural world rather than providing accessories for it.Birdman_2


I was also told today that a local artist is creating an installation of over 1200 maple seedlings for a new museum. I’ll keep you posted.

Posted by on June 10, 2007 at 7:42 am, in the category But is it Art?.
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4 responses to “Garden art at the Allentown Festival”

  1. LostRoses says:

    Elizabeth, I’m glad you did a post on this. Every garden catalog I receive has more and more “garden art”, some of which sets my heart pitter-patter. Do I need a kinetic orbiter of colorful metal cups that catch the wind; or green glass globes sprinkled with phosphorescent paint that glow in the nighttime? Maybe. What I do like is knowing they’re out there if I want them so I like this trend of more “garden art.”

    While touring gardens yesterday, the dubious gardener kept asking me, “didn’t we see this one last year?” and I could confidently reply based on whether I recognized the tchotchkies which set a garden apart, for better or for worse!

  2. Marte says:

    Elizabeth, this is a very interesting topic, as usual. I think I am afraid that if I start putting garden art into my garden, I won’t be able to afford the plants! So far I have resisted but it will be interesting to see what others have to say about this.

  3. firefly says:

    “Allentown” must be well known to Buffalo residents, but I grew up near Philly and the only Allentown I know (and the one that comes up first in a Google search) is Allentown, PA.

    Every time there is a post here or at GWI about Allentown my bad-at-geography brain short-circuits a little more 😉

  4. Eliz says:

    Yes, I know, Allentown, PA would be more familiar as it is a whole city, not just a neighborhood. We are very fortunate to own allentown.org for our website, instead of them. In my defense, I did mention Buffalo in the first sentence!