Richard Kaweske, plant sculptor

by Mary Jasch

Richard Kaweske createdFair Acres Farm in Wantage twenty years ago, though he began creating flower beds when he was just a boy. “I always created my nursery beds using my art degree from California College of Arts in Oakland.”

Eclipse Garden

Today Kaweske creates sculptures made of plants and gardens from inspiration drawn from Mosaic Culture Canada, a horticultural event that combines sculpture, paint and horticulture to create living art.

I was in a much more artistic state of mind this year because I relaxed more and eliminated stress in my life. I had gone to previous Mosaic Cultures and I asked myself, ‘what can I do?’ I want to be creative and see how far I can go. I took the time to do it. The rewards have been fabulous.” Richard won best in Show in the Flower Show at the New Jersey State Fair with his sculpture “Pink Cadillac.”

He recently planted an “Eclipse Garden,” using extra annuals he grew. ”I started planting and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I went out there with my rake. I found this bed and raked an arch and almost made the eclipse before I knew what I had done. I scratched out a basic eclipse. I had no pre-expectations but working with what I see. I thought, ‘My god, it’s an eclipse.’ This was a very creative year for me.”

Richard’s future projects include a recently begun labyrinth composed largely of natives, and growing gardens for his own pleasure, excitement and edification.

When he retires, the nursery will become gardens where he’ll sit under the trees instead of growing them in pots for sale. He wants to start working with fibrous plants to make paper, like the cotton he grew this year. “After seeing the total eclipse (in Tennessee), I’m inspired. It was like fiery gods in the sky.”

Right now, Richard is enjoying his plants as the perfect art medium.

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