I went to a really cool event last weekend, Milwaukee Art Museum’s Art In Bloom. I’d never been to it before, so I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it involved pretty flowers, so I wanted to check it out. Basically the concept is that art exhibits throughout the museum are put into a hat and floral designers pull one out at random. They are then tasked with creating a floral sculpture inspired by their chosen piece of art. Some chose a very literal interpretation, and others were more symbolic.
Here are some of my highlights (once again, I apologize for the poor photography, maybe after we get our tax return we’ll invest in a decent camera? Any suggestions?)
My personal favorite was the Seated Bodhisattva. I loved the way plant material was used, the gnarled kiwi branches are the perfect outline of the sculpted figure, and using the lily grass to form the bent knees was pretty cool. I appreciated the carefully chosen parts of the arrangement.The designer statement stated that the plant materials were carefully chosen for their meanings of serenity, strength, love and purity, charm, beauty and long life. The effect was a subtle and beautiful piece that was clearly inspired by the assigned piece, but wasn't too blatantly obvious. The design won an honorable mention.
|Seated Bodhisattva (Maitreya), Unknown|
|Designers: Cindy Hum, Barbara Wesley|
Organization: Ikebana International, Milwaukee Ch. 22
A close second favorite of mine was Inversions XIII. While the art piece isn't my favorite, I thought the designer did a great job of using floral forms to interpret the piece. They painted horsetail black to create the sharp lines which was pretty clever. This one won 3rd place over all.
|Inversions XIII: Al Held|
Designer: Jane Edwards
Organization: A New Leaf Floral, Inc
This Georgia O'Keeffe piece was just plane cool. It won 2nd over all. We kept trying to get a top down picture of it, but we were too short...
|Poppies: Georgia O'Keeffe|
Designer: Carrie Kroening
Organization: Petals Floral Design
This very easily won my award for Most Ridiculous piece. The painting itself I find kind of lame, and the floral arrangement didn't even try. Here is the designer's statement, "When I first met Sunny the dog, I felt he needed a friend. I thought of my sister's dog Boomer. Boomer is a very nice Bichon Frise. I know these two would have fun together running along the beach. Say hello to Sunny and Boomer." Boomer is cute (kinda), but really?
|Sunny #4: Alex Katz|
Designer: Lynnel Bartley
Organization: Sendik's on Downer
This was the winner of the event, and it was really well done, but I was a little annoyed with the non-plant material being so prominent. I feel like if the "Blooms" are supposed to be the point of the event, they should be the most important aspects of the design, not just the accents.
|Landscape: Nicolas de Stael|
Designer: Pam Borgardt
And the plant systematics geek in me had to come out sometime... I was really disappointed in the inaccuracies in the description signs on each exhibit. They were really inconsistent. Some listed plants that weren't in the design, or clearly didn't list all the pieces that were used. The use of latin names was made me really sad. The plant list for Project for a Monument (Moon, Sun and One Star) was the most painful, species names are capitalized! (they should look like: Genus species) At least they listed a latin and a common name for each species.
This sign got the most points from me for being the most complete and using the correct formatting on the names. I'm a geek, I know.
I'll leave you with Sam, just because he's adorable.
|Sam and the Perfect World: David Lenz|
Design: Exceptional Tablescapes