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By Beth Stone and Janice Sharp

The BAGSC information and sales table, with some of the Camellia botanical artwork.

The BAGSC information and sales table, with some of the Camellia botanical artwork.

The Camellia Societies of Southern California (Kern County, Pacific, Southern California and San Diego Camellia Societies) held their first Camellia show of the 2015 season at Descanso Gardens on January 17 and 18, 2015. As part of the show, members of BAGSC were invited to hang “Camellia” art works. Ten artists, Diane Daly, Estelle DeRidder, Clara Josephs, Joan Keesey, Suzanne Kuuskmae, Patricia Mark, Mitsuko Schultz, Gilly Shaeffer, Janice Sharp, and Beth Stone submitted a combined total of 20 artworks.

The craftsman style elegance of Descanso’s Van de Kamp Hall filled with beautiful Camellia blooms was a beautiful setting for botanical artwork.

The craftsman style elegance of Descanso’s Van de Kamp Hall filled with beautiful Camellia blooms was a beautiful setting for botanical artwork.

The craftsman style elegance of Descanso’s Van de Kamp Hall filled with table after table covered with wildly diverse Camellia blooms was a beautiful setting for botanicals. The art of our members was well received by Camellia flower exhibitors and the public alike as a refreshing addition to the floral display.

Descanso Gardens was also enthusiastic to use the art to complement the current Camellia blooming season and has agreed to hang all 20 painting in the Boddy House where they will remain on display for the next several months.

In addition to participating in the botanical art exhibition, Beth Stone won five prizes for her outstanding Camellia flowers.

In addition to participating in the botanical art exhibition, Beth Stone won five prizes for her outstanding Camellia flowers.

In addition, Beth participated in the Camellia show where she won five prizes for her outstanding Camellia flowers.

Many thanks to David Brown and Susan Armstrong of Descanso Gardens and George Harrison and Tom Gilfoy of the Pacific Camellia Society for making this collaboration with BAGSC possible.

Thanks also to Clara Josephs for encouraging this project from the beginning and to Deb Shaw for creating the publicity flier and attending to multiple necessary details. Thank you to Gilly Shaeffer for demonstrating watercolor techniques during the exhibit and to Melanie Cambell-Carter, Diane Daly, Clara Josephs, Patricia Mark, Tania Norris, Veronica Raymond and Mitsuko Schultz for volunteering to set-up, staff and take down the exhibit.

by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Camellia japonica 'Guilio Nuccio' with Camellia japonica 'Horkan' and Camellia wabisuke 'Sukiya', watercolor by Beth Stone, © 2104, all rights reserved.

Camellia japonica ‘Guilio Nuccio’ with Camellia japonica ‘Horkan’ and Camellia wabisuke ‘Sukiya’, watercolor by Beth Stone, © 2104, all rights reserved.

The winter months are Camellia show season. This year, BAGSC members will have a Camellia Painting Exhibition at Descanso Gardens, Saturday, January 17 and Sunday, January 18, 2015.

The BAGSC Camellia Painting Exhibit will take place in Van de Kamp Hall, just inside the main entrance, in conjunction with the first Camellia flower show of the 2015 season. Camellia shows are exhibitions of hundreds of individual Camellia blooms presented for judging by amateur Camellia growers. Blooms are placed into classes based upon Camellia Species and characteristics such as nominal bloom size and culture conditions.

Each show has about 25 individual classes. Each class is judged by one of several teams of three judges. The teams select first place blooms of each cultivar entered in the class. They also choose multiple first place blooms from each class that merit further judging. All judges present, typically about 20, then vote for the top blooms in each class, evaluating the first place cultivars against one another. The ballots are tallied and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place from each class is determined. Winners may choose crystal “trophies” or may accumulate points throughout the show season, which are then converted into a gift certificate redeemable at Nuccio’s Nurseries.

Camellia Grand Prix, by Janice Sharp, colored pencil, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Camellia Grand Prix, by Janice Sharp, colored pencil, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Southern California has a consortium of five different Camellia Societies which conduct Camellia flower shows nearly every weekend from mid-January to mid-March each year in locations ranging from Bakersfield to San Diego. The January 17 and 18, 2015 exhibition at Descanso is the Pacific Camellia Society’s 50th annual show.

The Camellia Painting Exhibit and Flower Show will be open to the public:
Saturday January 17, 2015 1:00 PM (pending completion of the flower show judging) to 4:30 PM
Sunday January 18, 2015 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Admission to the Camellia Painting Exhibit and Flower Show is included with admission to Descanso Gardens. General admission is $9. Seniors 65 and over and students are admitted for $6. Children (5 to 12 years) are $4. Descanso members and children under five are admitted for free. There is ample parking at Descanso and you can also get a quick, easy and tasty lunch at their café.

Descanso Gardens is located near the intersection of the 210 and 2 freeways at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, California, 91011. It is a 20-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, depending on traffic.

Allow time on your visit to Descanso Gardens to take a walk through the Camellia Forest and visit the Camellia room in the Boddy House. You may also want to explore the newly opened natural Oak Woodland.

Minato-no-haru Camellia, Clara Josephs, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

Minato-no-haru Camellia, by Clara Josephs, watercolor, © 2014, all rights reserved.

More information about the Camellia Societies and Camellia culture can be found at http://www.socalcamellias.org.

Nuccio’s Nurseries will also have an exhibit in Van de Kamp hall for the duration of this show which will be packed with examples of everything currently blooming in their Nursery. If you haven’t been to Nuccio’s, you owe it to yourself to see one of Southern California’s nursery treasures. Everything Camellia and Azalea can be found at Nuccio’s.

Want to volunteer to help with the Camellia Exhibition?

BAGSC volunteers are needed to help

  • Stage and hang the show on Friday, January 16, 2015.
  • Stay with the exhibit all weekend while it is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, January 17 and 18, 2015. BAGSC volunteers supporting the exhibit will provide information to the public about BAGSC and our art form and will handle any sales. [There will also be at least one Camellia Society volunteer on hand at all times while the exhibit is open to talk with the public about the Camellias on display.] All BAGSC members are invited to volunteer and help support the show; you may volunteer regardless of whether or not you have work in the exhibition.
  • Help with taking down and packing up the exhibit on Sunday, January 18, 2015.

An email blast went out to all BAGSC members with a call for volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Beth Stone.

See you there!

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