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The cornerstone to any Art in Bloom event is the art. On Wednesday, May 23, the Black Mountain Center for the Arts will kick off its 12th annual Art in Bloom by having a new gallery show of art work from regional galleries.

Twenty works of art, curated by arts center executive director Gale Jackson and committee member Nancy Shoch, will fill the art center’s upper floor. The gallery is free and open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday until June 13.

“Over the years I have built strong relationships with gallery owners throughout the region who understand the magic of Art in Bloom and are pleased to lend the work of many talented artists for our event,” Jackson said. Art in Bloom is a two-month long celebration of flowers that starts with this gallery show, peaks with a gala and a garden tour and ends with a gallery exhibit of plein air paintings created during the garden tour. Galleries participating this year include Blue Spiral 1, The Bender Gallery, New Morning Gallery, Seven Sisters and include painting, sculpture and glass.

“I look for work that is strong in color or line or structure, or all three, to appeal to and challenge the 20 Ikebana and Western floral designers who will interpret these works in a few weeks,” Jackson said, referring to the second phase of Art in Bloom on June 14. At that time, floral designers will interpret a piece of art with floral materials, creating their arrangements in the Upper Gallery where they will be on display, with the artwork, through June 16.

The Art in Bloom Gala preview Party ($50) is at 6 p.m. June 14. Then, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 15 and 16, guests have the option to view the floral designs only ($5) or combine the gallery show with a local Cottage Garden Tour (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $20) over the course of both days.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is at 225 W. State St. For more, visit blackmountainarts.org or call 669-9030.

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