Our chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary on January 10th and 11th at Palmbrook Country Club in Sun City, Arizona.
The morning of Tuesday, January 10, honored guest Master Teacher Misei Ishikawa from Tokyo Sogetsu School Headquarters led the workshop, Express Feelings for Celebration, using pine, curly willow, gerbera daisies and bird of paradise. In the afternoon, 1st Degree Master Ohara professor and chapter member Louise Daggs taught Seasonal Ohara Moribana using pine, chrysanthemums, and lilies.
Wednesday morning, January 11, President Sue Schmidt welcomed chapter members and guests. She opened the event with a history of Arizona, Sun City, and Ikebana in the Phoenix Valley. The Opening Program continued with Ikenobo Professor Linnea Storm presenting a history of Ikebana with examples of Ikenobo arrangements. The program also featured Misei Ishikawa Sensei, who was assisted by 6 local ikebanists, to create six large themed table arrangements using natural and unconventional materials. She turned citrus, totem pole cactus, guava, pine, and driftwood from the gardens of chapter member, Carol Brecker, into beautiful works of art in glass and ceramic vases. In one arrangement, exotic banana leaf and hanging heliconia rose above an orange and gold Japanese embroidered obi tower. Mrs. Ishikawa’s finale arrangement dazzled the audience as her black clad assistants removed black screens to reveal a 20 x 10 ft bamboo structure secured in driftwood sculptures. The team placed pine and camellia branches into the base of the structure and pink lilies with fern, monstera, and baby’s breath into bamboo vases in the horizontal bamboo rods. Washi paper, mounted on triangular shapes of bamboo, completed the living sculpture. Following lunch, Mrs. Schmidt presented certificates along with flowers to senseis and long-time chapter members honoring them for their dedication, passion, time, and talent contributions to the chapter. The program ended with many attendees winning donated raffle items of Japanese art, Ikebana supplies, luncheon table centerpieces and bundles of flowers.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration will continue on Saturday, March. 25, 2023 with a free public Ikebana Exhibit of arrangements on display created by chapter members, including 2 free demonstrations by Ping Wei (Sogetsu) and Lauren Toth (Ikenobo)
The motto, Friendship through Flowers has grown locally for 50 years and will thrive into the future in the Phoenix area.