MALTA – The Kishwaukee College Floral Design department hosted a guest designer as part of the Artist In Residence program offered through the American Institute of Floral Designers on Feb. 19 at the college.
Students in Janet Gallagher’s Floral Design class welcomed Pete Samek, AIFD certified floral designer, for a morning lecture followed by an afternoon of design.
Samek is a freelance designer, a 30-year veteran in the floral industry and serves as an elected representative on the AIFD National Board. He was assistant director at the American Floral Art School for 14 years and taught floral design in Chicago, Taipei, Taiwan and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A former board member of AIFD’s North Central Chapter, Samek has been an active member with the organization since 1991. Samek, along with designer J. Keith White, decorated the VIP entries at the 2017 Rose Parade. Currently, Samek works in quality assurance in the floral department at FTD LLC and helped organize the 2019 Interflora World Cup competition at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Samek works as a freelance designer and resides in Naperville.
While at the college, Samek lectured on formalinear design style, a European style that arranges plant materials in groups to emphasize clean lines and bold forms. Students learned about intentional and strong use of negative space to accentuate individual flowers, stem angles, color and textures, radial stem placement and asymmetrical balance. Samek also covered foliage techniques such as weaving and other leaf manipulations. Following the lecture, students created individual centerpieces in formalinear style.
The AIR program is offered through the AIFD to bring together industry professionals and floral design students at colleges and universities that have Student AIFD chapters. Kishwaukee College is one of only 14 colleges in the nation with a SAIFD chapter.