On Friday I attended Art In Bloom at the North Carolina Museum Of Art. Wish you all could have been there.
This is the fourth year the museum has held this event in which floral designers are paired with art works from the museum’s collection through a drawing. Their challenge is not to reproduce the art work, rather the designers seek inspiration from it. Some interpret literally, others are more abstract. Some focus on color, others on structure or texture. They all were able to create amazing designs for this show.
For the viewers each design is a fun puzzle to solve, scrutinizing the finished product against the piece of art to tease out which elements spoke to the florists.
There were over fifty designs in the show. Where to start? Well, a few friends have already posted their favorites from the show on various social media platforms and each person showed this entry. It was chosen by museum director Larry Wheeler for The Director’s Choice award.
There is no mistaking the drape and flow of the red gown. The verticality and proportions of the arrangement seem to capture perfectly that of the source art.
Closely look at the gloved arms. Or does this capture cap, face, neck, breast and gloves? More than that I admired the quality, choice and interplay of materials.
The theme is seamless from every direction.
What if in the art work lottery you had drawn this landscape painting to interpret? What flowers/foliage would you choose? What container? What scale?
Here is one designer’s interpretation.
There is a play of light and shadow. I really love the white to lavender color shift of the delphiniums.
Given another inspiration, Diana + Actaeon by Paul Manship, what choices would you make?
Separate containers. White callas and pink for Diana. Anthuriums on the right.
View from the back. That is a lot of green tick dianthus, along with a few dozen Gerbera daisies massed together.
The designer also used dendrobium and cymbidium orchids were Does anyone know what the flower is in the upper right corner below? (Asking for a friend.) [Thanks Eliza for identifying the flower as red ginger (Alpinia purpurata).]
It would be fun to design with the types of flowers used by the designer, for example, King Protea is amazing. And then there is the sheer quantity of materials–a few dozen roses of each color.
This next work was created by several members from Raleigh’s Avant Gardeners Garden Club. Inspiration: Madonna and Child, Sienese School. The custom-made box container coordinates beautifully with the frame of the art.
The materials in this design were striking with pristine Assumption lilies for the Madonna.
For the infant, ranunculus—such a soft, pretty color.
One of my favorites was this one by two designers, Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens, and inspired by this garden scene titled In the Greenhouse by John Henry Twachtman.
Designers incorporated an old greenhouse window for charm and seemingly to isolate foreground from background. I love the palette used in this section.
I will walk you around the display.
And back to the beginning. I really enjoyed the structure and color of this entry and found it engaging.
I see I will not have time today to show you my very favorites from the show. Perhaps later in the week we can revisit the show.
For now I leave you with an interesting one inspired by a work by Joseph Albers. Albers had taught at the Bauhaus in Germany. When the school was closed down under Hitler, Albers was invited to teach at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He immigrated in 1933 bringing the Bauhaus style of teaching to the United States.
Designer Vandy Bradow did a masterful job capturing the greens and grays, as well as the lines and the sense of “looking through.”