Pretty Poppies in Fairhope

July 22, 2015


Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at The Tower of London. An installation by Paul Cummins to mark the centenary of the start of World War I. Yeoman Warder John Donald walks throught the ceramic poppy field. Photograph: Rosie HallamBlood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at The Tower of London. An installation by Paul Cummins to mark the centenary of the start of World War I. Photograph: Rosie Hallam
Photograph: Rosie Hallam

Do you remember hearing about the poppy project, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” last year in London to commemorate the start of WWI?

Well, get ready, because a brigade of volunteers is preparing their own version of the public art installation and there will soon be thousands of pretty poppies in Fairhope!


Gaye Lindsey making poppies for veterans at the EAstern Shore Art CenterYou read that correctly. Dreamer, planner, coordinator, organizer and photo-shy Gaye Lindsey (above) is orchestrating an army of volunteers (so many in fact, you need a reservation to help) who will construct from scratch, 3,000 pottery poppies.


clay ready to be made into poppies at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope AlabamaOnce completely cut, shaped, glazed, fired and assembled, the 3,000 bright red flowers will be placed around the Veteran’s monument in Henry George Park in time to celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2015. Here’s a story I previously did on the park and the beautiful Veteran’s sculpture and fountain.Leslie Anne Tarabella, Poppies in Fairhope ALI got into the act and helped, even though my most challenging class ever at the Eastern Shore Art Center was pottery. I thought it would be a breeze, but I was terrible! Know your strengths – accept your weaknesses!


Veteran's poppies in Fairhope ALHere’s my completed work, with a little ladybug for good measure.


poppies for Veterans in Fairhope ALThe park will look brilliant with this tribute entitled, ““Symbols of Sacrifice: Poppies for Veterans.”


making poppies at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope Alabama

The installation and exhibit will honor U.S. military veterans from all armed conflicts. This project will bring attention to the huge number of veterans – living and deceased – who have served our country. Veterans will be invited to take a poppy home with them and the remainder will be sold to the public with proceeds going to various Veteran’s organizations in Baldwin County.


making poppies for veterans at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope Alabama

This hard working lady was banging away on the steel rods that will serve as stems for the flowers. I commented that I liked her pearls and she laughed and said, “I’m not even from the South, but I’m learning to wear them all the time!”

poppies for veterans, Fairhope AL Eastern Shore Art Center, Fairhope Supply Co. Here are a few of the flowers after they’ve been glazed and fired in the kiln.


Poppies for veteran's day, fairhope al, Fairhope Supply Co. And here are a few examples lining the sidewalk into the Eastern Shore Art Center. 

My 7th grade English teacher had me memorize the poem, “In Flander’s Fields” by  John McCrae.  My Grandfather could also recite it, so I love thinking about him when I see it. This is where the connection with poppies and Veterans first began.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


poppies in Fairhope AL

For information on how you can help make poppies, contact the Eastern Shore Art Center HERE.

Thanks to my friend L.M. for several of these photos.


  • […] came up with the idea of Art on a Limb and totally spearheaded the entire project. (remember the Poppy Project? Gaye did that too!) She’s the new President of the Board of Directors at the Eastern Shore […]

  • Margaret Neely says:

    It was such an honor to be a part of the volunteer team making the poppies.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      This was such a great project for the entire community. So glad you were able to be part of the effort, fun and new friendships!

  • I’m looking forward to your photos from the completed installation. Is the link you provided also where one can send a donation?

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’ll be sure to post lots of photos, and yes, the link will take you to the Art Center’s web site where their contact info is located, but to help, here’s the address: Eastern Shore Art Center 401 Oak Street, Fairhope, Alabama 36532 — just specify “poppy project.” Or you can call and they can take card #’s over the phone. On their behalf, I greatly thank you!

  • What a wonderful project! … and the poppies are beautiful too! The lady with the pearls is just precious! Although she may not be southern, she’s already learned a set of pearls can dress up any outfit, even a t-shirt! 😉 Love it! ~Rhonda

  • Margaret Neely says:

    It has been a privilege to help make these poppies. I can wait to see all of them in the park on Veterans Day.
    There is never enough we can do to thank the Veterans for their sacrifices.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’m so glad you were able to help with the project! I think it’s such a clever new way to raise funds for Veterans.

  • What a wonderful project! I love that you’re right in there helping and your poppy with the lady bug is so cute! This is going to be a spectacular sight and I hope you’re snap it when they are all out there. I giggled at the little lady wearing her pearls while she works away! 😉 You have so much fun and I just love your funny comments on my blog! I think I remember some of those itching laces too.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Sheila. When a lady moves to Alabama, her new driver’s license comes with pearls.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Hope you can come see it in person!

  • I forwarded this post to my Art teacher daughter. She was thrilled with the idea and is going to use as a project in her class next year! Thanks for sharing.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      How exciting! One of the reasons I like writing about different projects is so they can be shared with others! I’ll be sure to let Gaye know the impact she and her crew of volunteers are having.

  • Amazing! And beautiful! I can’t wait to see pictures when all the poppies are “in bloom”.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      We usually have good weather here in November, so it will make for great photos with Mobile Bay in the background!

  • What a beautiful, touching project. I’m looking forward to your post and pictures of this community effort in November. I’m no artist but better at this crafty side than sketching or drawing. Your ladybug is a sweet touch!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I can’t even imagine how pretty it’s going to be. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos!

  • Connie Jones says:

    this is soooo amazing!!! Wish I lived close enough to help but I’m in Memphis. Love seeing tributes to our armed forces. My Grandfather fought in WWI and my Dad in WWII.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I know you are so proud, and we are still grateful to this day for men like your Dad and Granddad.

  • Fairhope, you are amazing. You have hit it out of the park again! Bless the wonderful volunteers that are signing up to work on this project and the one who had the idea and did something about it. Your veterans
    will never feel forgotten.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      We have kind people in Fairhope who consider it a privilege to help Veteran’s causes. Our Veteran’s Day parade has grown to be a large event every year.

  • What a great project. They do/will look amazing. Are the ones in the first picture ceramic too? Girls in pearls and a T-shirt to boot! Love it.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’m not sure on how the poppies in London were exactly made, but I’m pretty sure they are also ceramic/pottery.

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