Floral Sculptor Anthony Ward Creates Spaces of Exceptional Beauty
On Nov 4, 2002, I created my first onstage arrangement with Bobby McFerrin as part of his San Francisco Jazz Festival performance.
Our collaboration was completely impromtu and magical. Although I have an extensive background in ballet and modern jazz dance, it was the first time onstage that I was able to employ my two most accomplished art forms.
At the end of the stage, there was a 15 foot tall arrangement of all white flowers, lemons, and fall leaves. My dear friend Michael Franti, who is the lead singer and lyricist of Spearhead was in attendance at my request.
He said he was very moved by what we did and asked me to join him and Spearhead on stage sometime. I made my debut with them at the Not In Our Name benefit in Oakland, CA in 2003. Since then, I have done almost a dozen performances with them - most notably at the Reggae on the River 20th anniversary, where I was onstage with them for half the set.
I have also joined them for their Power to the Peaceful Festival in SF's Golden Gate Park (which happens around Sept 11) every year since 2002. Please visit www.spearheadvibrations.com for more info on this amazing musical social movement of a family.
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My wonderful friend Zach Velmer, the amazing drummer of the musical revolution called Sound Tribe Sector 9 was at a performance I did with Spearhead, and asked me to join them onstage to create live with them. When I say they are a musical revolution, you will have to hear them to know what I mean. Please visit www.sts9.com.
I have also performed with Deepak Chopra reading Rumi while renowned Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechong did his magic.
The year 2010 saw another evolution of our performances. The Flowers and I began creating on stage in full sets with various DJ's and music producers.
I created in this way with Tipper at the STS9 after party,
at Harmony Festival, Cirque de Mayo, Camp Bisco Festival and a
special down tempo set at Alex and Allyson Grey's COSM. I also
created with Flying Lotus, Vibe Squad,
Heyoka, Eskmo, Brother, with Michael
This year we will create with Gurmukh Khalsa and Snatam Kaur on the banks of The Ganges River at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh/India.
I am currently working with film maker Patrick Horvath on a documentary called "Dancing With FLOWERS" focusing on the profound connection between humans and flowers and how we work, play and dance together.
The documentary includes interviews and reflections about flowers by many of the well-known people I have connected with through my work, plus some of my performances with the aforementioned artists.
In addition, we'll also highlight scenes from my work at The Omega Institute, where I have created and taught for the last 10 years my workshop Being With Flowers: Floral Art As Spiritual Practice.
Anthony's collaborations have been featured in many articles. Here's a selection:
Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana, announcement for City-wide Buddhism Project Presented by WaveSummer, New York/NY, July 6, 2003
Bouquets to Arts, Sentinel article discussing Anthony's museum installation at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco/CA
Not In Our Name Benefit Concert, Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley/CA, January 31, 2003
Sunflower Power, article featuring Anthony's creation for the Dalai Lama, Spring 2002 issue of Spirituality & Health
I welcome other opportunities to share my work in this very freeing way. I was told by a friend that these sharings help inspire others to be themselves fully and freely. Inspiration is such a precious thing to me. If my work in any way inspires others, I am truly blessed.
Please contact Passionflora Floral Art at .
"Inspiration is such a precious thing to me...."