What: Art in Bloom
When: Today through Sunday
Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S.
This weekend a wondrous aroma will leak from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and billow out into the streets. An expected 20,000 guests will let their noses lead them to the 28th annual “Art in Bloom” exhibit.
This free, four-day event will welcome guests to come sniff the aromatic bliss of spring while feasting their eyes on extravagant displays and interpretations of museum artwork, all in flowers.
The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Sensing Spring.” Though the transition of seasons is undoubtedly celebrated, the exhibit is also an ode to our senses.
“It’s not just ‘Sensing Spring,’ said Pauline Altermatt, co-chairwoman of the committee responsible for hosting the event. “It’s celebrating the five senses and how they help us achieve balance and wellness in our lives.”
The visual and aromatic appeal of the exhibit is quite conspicuous. Dazzling displays of color will grab the eyes’ attention, whilefragrances will flood the nostrils. The event will also feature chocolate tasting, music by Café Accordion Orchestra and massages courtesy of The Marsh.
The foundation of the exhibit will be the 170 “pedestal artists.” These pedestal artists, also known as floral designers, pick a piece of artwork from the museum and then recreate it in a spectacular floral arrangement. The florists are given the freedom to interpret or reinterpret whichever piece of artwork they like, however they see fit.
“It might be anything from a statue to an oil painting to a watercolor — it can be anything,” Altermatt said. “It’s maybe the color, maybe the mood that they’re trying to recreate. It’s just kind of whatever inspires them.”
There are also 20 major commercial florists who will present scintillating displays throughout the museum.
A large, vivacious arrangement, courtesy of Richfield Flowers and Events, will be the first to welcome guests in the entryway of the museum.
“We’re doing a giant frame with a large urn of fresh flowers. It’s sort of like you’re looking through a picture frame to view the floral arrangement,” said Marilyn Weis, manager and designerat Richfield Flowers and Events. “We enjoy all of the creative juices and gathering with other people and other florists. We just enjoy the creative aspect of seeing all the flowers come to life.”
Another large display, presented by Wisteria Design Studio, will emerge as a striking monochromatic arrangement featuring different shades of green. These commercial florists aren’t afraid to go big.
“It’s going to be pretty tall,” Wisteria artistic director Russell Toscano said. “There are some bamboo poles that will reach up about 10 feet.”
Toscano is a seasoned veteran of the “Art in Bloom” exhibit, having participated since 1988. However, Toscano isn’t the only one returning to the exhibit year after year — guests are too.
“We’ve noticed that traffic has increased and increased and increased over the years,” said Toscano. “There’s nothing more glorious than a museum full of flowers. Especially when we’re barely out of winter.”
No matter what Mother Nature throws at us this weekend, spring will be in session at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. All we can do is hope that Art in Bloom is foreshadowing what’s to come.
“It’s a wonderful welcome of spring, and I think after this Minnesota winter we all deserve it,” Altermatt said.
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