In a refreshing combination of flowers and art, the Slidell Art League held its annual Art and Bloom opening at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Cancer Center. Upstairs and downstairs, lovely artworks welcomed everyone to share in an appreciation for striking beauty and springtime.

As evidence that this was an impressive show, the judge, Ryan Tramonte, vice president of operations of French Art Network, commented, “Many of the works had a flair and panache that I usually see with seasoned artists or artists who work long hours to make an emotional impression. I walked away feeling that I had actually learned a little bit, not only about the artists but also about the region where they are located.

“The three-dimensional category anchored the show with skill, talent and time-honored craftsmanship. The under-glass category was the hot sauce and more dynamic part of the show that made it necessary for me to walk the show several times to take in every morsel.”

The most joyous moment of the evening was the announcement of the best-in-show winner, Nolan Lefort. His marble and wood sculpture “Dancing with Asteroids” depicted a wooden spacecraft in blue and gold with its extragalactic afterburner trailing behind it. The piece is supported on a carved dome base that the judge described as “showing great movement.”

Art and Bloom 2014 winners were:

THREE-DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY: first and second, “Proud Pelican” and “Bellterra,” both by John Zeringue; third, “World’s Away” by Al Singer; and honorable mention, “Red” by Nolan Lefort.

PHOTOGRAPHY: first, second and honorable mention were awarded to Donald Craig for “Colored Glass,” “Art Deco Abstract” and “Bayou Sunset”; third place went to “Nuttin but Honey” by Dennis DeBautte.

ART-UNDER-GLASS CATEGORY: first, “Sailboats” by Helio Zavalza; second, “Fontainebleau Oaks” by Colleen Marquis; third, “Seaside Serenity” by Elaine Mercer; and honorable mention, “A Boy With a Hat” by Emile Henriquez.

ART NOT UNDER GLASS: first, “All that is Gold” by Cassandra Seefeld; second, “The Catch” by William Byron Gray; third, “Cane Bayou Sunshine” by Len Heatherly; and honorable mention, “The Man in the Shroud” by Richard Ray.

In conjunction with the artworks, garden club members chose specific works to interpret in flowers, and their entries were judged by Peggy Crawford, of Diamondhead, Mississippi. Weather’s Flower Market won first place for interpreting “Elizabeth the Faerie Queen.”

Garden club member interpretation winners were: first and second, Judy Leonard, of Magnolia Forest Garden Club, for “Sunrise at Fort Pike” and “Carnival”; third, Naomie Hess, of Eden Isles Garden Club, for “Shore Shadows”; and honorable mention, Liz McHugh, of Coin du Lestin Garden Club, for “String Music.”

Best in show for floral interpretations went to Yvon Mulinary, of Westchester Garden Club, for “Red Flip-Flops Left Behind.”

Through SMH’s generosity and belief in the curative powers of art, Purchase Awards were presented to Sue Romanick for “Youth to Wisdom” and Ester Wyman for “Reflections.”

Art will be on display through June 13 at the SMH Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Blvd.

Kathleen DesHotel writes about the cultural arts in St. Tammany. She can be reached by email at kathleenfocused@gmail.com.