Eric Groft Presented at Annapolis’ Four Rivers Garden Club on April 14: The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design


Photo Credit:

Oehme, van Sweden Principal Eric Groft was invited to present at the Four Rivers Garden Club of Annapolis on Tuesday, April 14 by his friend and client Carolyn Houck.

He presented The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design, authored by James van Sweden, FSLA, one of the two founders of Oehme, van Sweden and the New American Garden style of landscape architecture.

James van Sweden’s book focuses on the inspiration behind the landscape, encouraging its readers to seek inspiration in different places and situations: Specifically, in the classical arts.

From painting to music, from sculpture to dance, van Sweden focuses on the principal idea that gardens are art, not to think in terms of linear borders and flower beds, but rather an organic tapestry of matter, woven from its earthly surroundings.

His aesthetically stunning book, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design reveals the secrets of famous gardens from around the world, focusing on their underlying creative process, bringing forth the underlying principles consistently demonstrated in Oehme, van Sweden’s work: The use of positive and negative space, of form and scale, of light and shadow, of rough and smooth textures.

Van Sweden recognizes that not all gardens are equal, rather each is a unique piece of art that serves a different purpose: Some are relaxing oases, others are active and reactive, constantly transforming, but most importantly each grants potential for surprise and wonder.


Holly Beach Farm, Photo Credit: Bohl Architects

It was especially fitting that this presentation was held for the Four Rivers Garden Club – the oldest garden club in Annapolis – for although they are now 90 years old – having held their first meeting on Holly Beach Farm – once a sprawling 3000-acre property spanning from the Severn to the Magothy River, the Four Rivers Garden club strives to consistently find inspiration in new and innovative ways.

The event was coordinate by the Four Rivers Events Chairwoman Jane Hegstrom, and it was hosted in the picturesque home of Craven Engels on the Severn River in Annapolis, MD. Attendees included Nancy Bennet, Martha Boyd, Mary Jo Dickinson, Pat Edwards, Judy Post, Janet Ross, Bonnie van Sciver-Steele and Lisa Sherwood.

May 7, 2015: The Collegiate Chorale’s 2015 Spring Benefit Concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall


Photo Credit:

On Thursday May 7, 2015 The Collegiate Chorale held their 2015 Spring Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall. The Chorale presented the U. S. Premiere of “The Road of Promise“, a new concert adaptation of the Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s epic 1937 stage spectacle “The Eternal Road.”

Dedicated to the memory of renowned philanthropist Charles I. Petschek, this unique production takes place in a synagogue, and centers on a group of modern-day Jews as they have gathered to escape a program. In order to console the protagonist – a 13 year old boy – the Rabbi recounts various biblical days, bringing them to life through a dramatic mix of opera, oratorio and musical theater.

Image Credit: The Collegiate Chorale

Image Credit: The Collegiate Chorale

The ambitious production was a perfect complement to Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary – the theater glistened the entirety of the show. Guests at the Spring Benefit Concert were treated to drinks in the Rose Museum prior to the performance in the Stern Audtiorium, all before the dinner, dessert and auction in the Rohatyn Room.

Eric Groft – Oehme, van Sweden Principal – was graciously hosted by the event’s co-chair, Barbara Zuckerberg, and accompanied by friend Hank Solzman, Lloyd Zuckerberg and Dina Zuckerberg.  Other attendees included co-chairs Susan Baker and Michael Lynch as well as OvS friend and client Suzy Rose, Daisy Soros, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Lilian Vernon and Emilia Saint-Amand Krimendahl.

The unique Spring Benefit Concert was presented in honor of the Simon Wiesenthal Center – a global human rights organization that researches the Holocaust and hate in both historical and contemporary contexts.  With a constituency of over 400,000 households within the United States, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been accredited as an NGO at many international organizations.