Art and flowers are a winning combination in my book. Later this week the North Carolina Museum of Art is hosting the second Art In Bloom festival featuring 56 works from the museum’s permanent collection. Each piece has been paired with a floral designer who will interpret the art in flowers.
The exhibition opens Thursday and I have had my tickets for weeks. (Yes, tickets, plural. I signed up when February had a stranglehold on me and it seemed the weather would never warm up, much less there would be flowers in the garden again.) In addition to the main show there are many master classes and demonstrations, each of which is ticketed separately. Participating in the hands-on master classes would probably be the most valuable, but honestly the idea was intimidating.
Instead I have opted to attend a number of presentations, including two by the Steve Taras, owner of Watered Garden Florist in Raleigh and the museum’s primary floral designer. The session titles are Re-Creating Nature and Celebrating with Flowers. I have seen him demonstrate flower arranging 3 other times at the museum. Had I realized Steve would be the guest presenter at last week’s garden club meeting, I might not have elected to attend both of these Art In Bloom sessions, but I am sure each will be distinctive. At the club meeting he designed 7 arrangements, all the while entertaining us with humorous stories and interjecting useful design tips.
Steve showed us an interesting twist on using tulips in arrangements. (Sorry for the terrible image quality.) Fold every other petal back, then go around and fold the remaining 3 petals back.
The tulips were added into a container filled with hippeastrum (amaryllis) in a rich red to orange palette, accented with deep red ranunculus. Here you can see him reaching for another orange tulip. I regret not getting better photos.
In preparing the hippeastrum Steve trimmed away much of the long stem. He then rummaged through the waste pile for stem cuttings trimmed from an earlier arrangement (hydrangeas, nerine lilies and tulips). He inserted a salvaged stem inside the large open stem of each hippeastrum for extra support and to help them continue taking up water.
These are the other events I am looking forward to at Art In Bloom, with descriptions excerpted from the museum website. Click on the titles if you would like to find out more about each presentation.
Floral demonstration and illustrated presentation by Olivier Giugni, whose talent and dramatic style transported him from Paris to Tokyo to New York. Olivier is the pioneer of the leaf-wrapped vase, which is now reproduced worldwide.
Olivier Giugni’s designs are considered the haute couture of floral creations. Raised in Brignoles, France, Olivier rose to floral stardom when Pierre Cardin tapped him to create the look of Les Fleurs de Maxim’s restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, and New York.
Presentation by Erica Anderson: Impressions of an Heirloom Garden
As the first horticulture intern on Appledore Island, Erica Anderson stepped into the garden of 19th-century poet Celia Thaxter. Using photographs of her time on the island, Erica transports us to the beloved island and garden featured in the exhibition American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals.
Floral demonstration and illustrated presentation with David Beahm, whose trademark lavish floral creations are featured at some of the most luxurious and exclusive properties in the world.
Your DIY Wedding
Carol Dowd and Stephanie Garrett of the American Institute of Floral Designers demonstrate simple steps to make your wedding flowers perfect, no matter what your style.