Compared to the Western style of floral arrangement, Ikebana
can seem austere, even remote. The Japanese tradition of floral arrangement does not feature rising tiers of luxurious blossoms, or massed firework-like riots of color -- but that doesnt mean that Ikebana is not capable of drama. The practitioner of Ikebana learns to create a harmonious balance with the floral materials used, the container that holds them, the empty spaces between individual floral items and the room in which the arrangement will be displayed. Indeed, part of the designers goal is to bridge the natural world and the indoors with the arrangement; in doing so, the harmony that the finished piece embodies should transfer to the viewer. Its a meditative practice for the arranger and a contemplative experience for the viewer. This Friday through Sunday (July 27 through 29) at the Foundry Art Centre (520 North Main Center, St. Charles; 636-255-0270 or www.foundryartcentre.org
), the members of Ikebana International create peaceful, easy feelings through their art. Demonstrations take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Friday night also features a free artists reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the Foundry Arts Centre is $5 on Saturday and Sunday.