Art in Bloom Speaker Profiles

Rick Darke

Photographer, author, and landscape designer Rick Darke will take his audience on a visual tour of global gardens, natural habitats, and urban landscapes, while offering stimulating insights into the art of observation and its value in enriching the individual creative process.

Darke is dedicated to the design and stewardship of the "livable landscape." He has studied and photographed North American plants in their habitats for more than thirty years; this work is reflected in his articles and books, including The American Woodland Garden, which has received the American Horticultural Society's Book Award, the Garden Writers Association Golden Globe Award for book photography, and the National Arbor Day Foundation's Certificate of Merit.

This knowledgeable horticulturist has traveled extensively in both hemispheres, exploring diverse ecologies and cultural landscapes in search of ideas to enrich the global garden. Darke is president of his own company, and is an internationally recognized authority on the use of grasses in designed and managed landscapes; his latest book, The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes, is the world's most complete individual reference on the topic.

Rick Darke's credentials are vast and diverse; you'll want to sign on for this photo/lecture and see and hear for yourself!

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Hitomi Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam is a noted Canadian floral designer, lecturer, instructor, and author specializing in contemporary abstract styles. In the world of floral design, she is a mega-star.

Winner of the Gold and Best of Show awards at the recent International Floral Display category at the Singapore Garden Festival, Gilliam is on the cutting edge (no pun intended!) of flower arranging worldwide. She has inspired many floral enthusiasts through her educational dedication and her numerous floral design books. She operates Satsuki's Design Solutions in Mission, British Colombia.

Gilliam is one of only five recipients of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) prestigious Design Influence Awards.

The designer spends a good deal of her time giving lectures and doing installations internationally; Art in Bloom 2009 fans will be enthralled by Gilliam as she explores the creative potential of contemporary floral design inspired by the collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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Joe Smith

What's in a name? Don't let the moniker fool you—Joe Smith's floral design work is definitely not "ordinary" or "run-of-the-mill!"

Smith owns the well-known, well-connected, high-end, high-energy, smart and trendy floral design store in Nashville—"Ilex...For Flowers."

It's not just Southern hospitality that gained Smith entre to grace the gorgeous and sophisticated pages of Architectural Digest, Town and Country, and Southern Living magazines with his exquisite floral designs; it's his talent. Smith and his creations have also graduated from magazine "still lifes" to the television studios on-camera with the host of "The Martha Stewart Show."

World-renowned designer Joe Smith will delight AIB enthusiasts with his floral masterpieces and his winning personality.

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