Glowacki lead chair of garden art project

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Shelly Birkelo
Thursday, March 27, 2014

JANESVILLE—The custom design on the seat back of the Adirondack chair is a colorful scene right out of Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Janesville watercolor artist Connie Glowacki created her interpretation of the statue of a maiden pouring water from an urn under the pergola in the Rose Garden from a photograph of her painting with acrylic paints, which posed some challenges.

“The acrylics dry darker and have a different consistency than watercolors. It's like taffy a little bit. I did the sky three times behind the tree to get the blue color lighter for the contrast,” she said.

When done, the chair, which also features painted tulips on one arm and irises on the other, will be put up for an online auction to raise money for operating expenses at the 20-acre gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive.

This is in addition to 25 other Adirondack chairs that are part of the gardens' 2014 garden art project, "Chair in Our 25th Anniversary."

The project, now in its fifth year, was created to promote community participation, encourage artist collaboration, raise awareness and develop support for the gardens, said Mary Fanning-Penny, executive director.

Glowacki, who owns and operates an art studio and gallery at Fish Creek in Door County, said working on the project is a privilege.

"It's a gift to everyone,'' she said.

Glowacki began working on the chair the first week of March and has been working on it four to eight hours almost daily in the basement of her eastside home.

Meanwhile, 25 other local artists are creating designs on full-size Adirondack chairs built from wood by garden volunteers in conjunction with the gardens' silver anniversary.

They will be displayed throughout the gardens Mother's Day through Labor Day then sold at a live auction Sunday, Sept. 7.

“It's an incredible honor to have an artist of Connie's caliber participating in the project, and we are deeply appreciative for Connie's longstanding and generous support of the gardens. Similarly, we are excited to showcase the artistry of all the local participants who are lending their creative talents to this endeavor,” Fanning said.

Last year, the garden art live auction raised nearly $5,000.

Proceeds from the garden art project's online and live auction will help sustain the the gardens daily operations, educational programming, technology and equipment needs, she said.

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