Here’s a chance to examine how an artist can enhance natural and man-made beauty.

Irene Buszko will exhibit paintings of flowering trees and Victorian era houses at the Voelker Orth Museum in Flushing from this Saturday, April 6, through June 30. The program includes an opening reception on April 7 at 2 p.m. and an artist talk on April 28 at the same time.

Buszko grew up in Richmond Hill, and over the years, she has painted countless scenes of her childhood neighborhood in the plein-air tradition. She simply finds a comfortable spot on a local street, sets up her easel, and creates landscapes on canvases with various green, blue, violet, and yellow-reddish hues.

To the casual observer, Buzsko’s pieces appear to be straight-forward scenes of real life subjects. However, she employs some artistic license to edit elements of her scenes. She might miss a tree or she might see one that isn’t there in the real world. At other times, she might move a real tree — or a barbecue or a parked car — to another spot. She also might change a natural color.

Buzsko has painted in New Jersey, California, and Oregon. She’s also been an artist-in-residence in Georgia and the Dominican Republic. However, Richmond Hill is definitely her spiritual home and a major source of her inspiration. It must be the area’s unique charm.

Nestled on tree-lined streets, the area below Forest Park in the vicinity of 84th Avenue features large-scale, single-family homes with American Queen Anne Shingle Victorian architecture. Many residences boast wraparound porches, front lawns, clapboard windows, overhanging gables, turrets, Ionic columns, and oval-stained glass windows. They date to the late 1800s/early 1900s, when developers created a planned garden community to attract apartment dwellers from Manhattan.

Entitled “Flowering Trees of Victorian Richmond Hill: Paintings by Irene Buszko,” the exhibition will be on view Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Located at 149-19 38th Ave., the host’s proper name is Voelker Orth Museum, Victorian Garden & Bird Sanctuary. It dates to the 1890s, when German immigrant Conrad Voelcker (different spelling) bought his dream home. These days, the historic house presents live performances, art exhibitions, workshops, tours, and special events.

Images: Voelker Orth Museum (top); Irene Buszko (gallery)


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