In 2001 the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club was trying to come up with creative fundraising ideas. Mary Lou Keep, club president at the time, decided to model an exhibit after the Art in Bloom show hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which features floral arrangements inspired by art pieces in the museum.

The Vineyard event, initially called Beauty and the Best but later changed to Blooming Art, featured Island artists paired with garden club members creating floral arrangements. It soon became the club’s major fundraiser.

Nancy Cabot, Ms. Keep’s vice president at the time, recalled the early days.

“The first few years we did it, I called the artists, and the arrangers, and helped hang the show,” Ms. Cabot said. “It was a much smaller operation than it is now. It took on a life of its own.”

Floral arrangements inspired by artwork will rest beside their corresponding painting. — Jeanna Shepard

This weekend Blooming Art celebrates its 20th anniversary, and features 34 Vineyard artists and 34 garden club members. Each club member is randomly assigned an artist, working in various mediums, and receives a print of the artist’s work in an envelope. Then the arrangers have about a month to interpret the design and gather the necessary materials.

The results, a work of art paired with a floral work of art, will be unveiled this weekend at the Old Mill in West Tisbury, the Garden Club’s home since 1942. Visitors can stop by the Old Mill on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The traditional opening night reception will not be held this year due to Covid restrictions.

Ms. Cabot, 80, has been a member of the garden club since she was 19 years old and has participated in every Blooming Art event since its inception. This year she is paired with her long-time friend, artist Katie Upson.

“I’ve always seen her paintings... but I’ve never been assigned her particular painting before,” Ms. Cabot said. “But I was thrilled when I got it this year. It’s fun to do one for somebody you know.”

Ms. Upson’s painting is titled October Orange and features a landscape behind Duarte’s pond in West Tisbury.

Deborah Silliman Wass, Cathy Richardson, Lizzie Schule, Eileen Walsh, Angela Egerton. — Jeanna Shepard

“It takes place in the fall. And it’s a path going through autumn trees, down a trail, which is a theme I use frequently,” Ms. Upson said.

Ms. Cabot admitted the painting proved a challenge, due to the change of seasons.

“If you notice, the Vineyard colors in June are not the same as October,” Ms. Cabot said. “But I found some wonderful orange marigolds and orange zinnias.”

Angela Egerton, a local artist and member of the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club since 2008, painted a scene from Cow Bay for the exhibit.

“It was the perfect day,” Ms. Egerton recalled. “It really was and the colors were just ideal.”

The artists don’t see the floral arranger’s final work until the day of the event so the weekend will be a surprise for them too. The reveal is one Ms. Egerton’s favorite moments.

“After the show is hung, the next day the arrangers come in and they set up under all the paintings that they’ve been assigned,” she said. “They come up with some really beautiful ideas. It’s just so much fun to see them set up, and for all of us to see it come together.

No pre-registration is necessary to attend the Blooming Art exhibit. There is an admission fee of $10 at the door. All artwork will be on sale with a percentage going to support the Garden Club, its student scholarship fund, and the Old Mill Preservation.