Will Work for Art: Ann Hedges

"Will Work for Art" takes you behind the scenes to meet the people who make the Fine Arts Museums work. This week we take you into the whimsical world of the Flower Committee, where we meet artist Ann Hedges. Originally from New York City, Ann has been volunteering with the Museums for fifteen years.

What do you do here at the Museums?

I am part of the Flower Committee, which consists of four teams that rotate weekly. Every week, the team is responsible for buying, arranging, and installing the flowers in the entry ways of the Museums, in the director's office, and in all the bathrooms—the de Young alone has ten bathrooms! We also cover special events. We utilize flowers that are not heavily scented and will not introduce insects into the Museums. In the past, I have alternated working at the Legion and the de Young, but for the past few years I’ve been at the de Young exclusively.

How did you become involved with the Museums?

A good friend who was a part of the Flower Committee thought I might be an interesting addition. I had no formal flower arranging training, but as a person interested in three-dimensional art, I put “things” together well. Working with flowers at the Museums has provided a wonderfully different, but similar forum for what I do professionally, which is large-scale, site-specific work. So installing flowers in the entry way to the de Young has been right up my alley.

What is your favorite artwork or gallery in the museum and why?

I’m particularly drawn to El Anatsui’s Hovor II at the de Young. The artist uses real items like bottle caps to create a large-scale abstract piece that extends beyond its borders. The colors and reflective quality are key. It takes on a life beyond its physical presence.

El Anatsui (b. Ghana, 1944). Hovor II, 2004. Aluminum and copper wire. Museum purchase, James J. and Eileen D. Ludwig Endowment Fund, Virginia Patterson Fund, Charles Frankel Philanthropic Fund, and various tribute funds. 2004.109

What do you do when you’re not at the Museums?

I am a sculptor and a jewelry designer. I use “plastics” and materials originating from the natural world, taking them out of their original context, redefining them, and giving them a life beyond their intended use.

What are you working on right now?

I just finished a site-specific sculpture that has 118 different components. I have yet to determine how to install it; that will be crucial to its success.

Do you remember the first time you visited the Museums?

I had just arrived in San Francisco nearly forty-two (yikes!) years ago. It was dark and I got completely lost and ended up at the Legion. Wow! Where was I? I thought, I have to check this place out—and the rest is history.