On April 7-10 the North Carolina Museum of Art hosted Art in Bloom. This event brought together floral designers from around our region to interpret the masterworks from the museum’s collection. There were lectures, master classes, workshops, and events the whole family could enjoy. We took a behind-the-scenes tour and heard from one of the speakers about the intersection of art and flowers.
- Over 10,000 visited the museum last year during Art in Bloom
- Floral artists from all over our region will participate
- International list of speakers will offer lectures, workshops, and classes
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Welcome to the Triangle Gardener magazine podcast. We’re your guide to enjoyable gardening in North Carolina. Today’s episode – Art in Bloom. I’m your host Dan Mason.
From the minute you get out of your car you will be immersed in a world of flowers and color and we’re really excited about that.
But first a word from Garden Destinations who help make this all possible.
Garden Destinations is a new digital magazine for travelers who want to experience the world’s finest public gardens and garden destinations. From their website, GardenDestinations.com, you can learn about unique gardens, get insider tips from expert travelers, and make plans to include these destinations in your next adventure. Check them out at GardenDestinations.com
You can find this and our other stories on the Triangle Gardener magazine website, trianglegardener.com. You can also keep up with us on Twitter. Our handle is @TriangleGarden. Now, on with today’s story….
I admit it. I’m sick of winter. I want spring, I want color, and I want flowers. The North Carolina Museum of Art is going to feed my need for flowers. On April 7-10 the museum will throw open its doors for their second annual Art in Bloom event. Last year over 10,000 people visited the museum during a four-day period to immerse themselves in art, color, workshops, lectures, tours, and other events. This year’s event promises to be even bigger. I visited the museum to talk with Laura Finan, who is the project manager for Art in Bloom and she gave me a sneak peek at what’s coming. I asked her what’s planned for this year.
Thursday, April 7 is when we open and it will go through Sunday, April 10th. We’ve got a boatload of presentations and workshops. And we’ve got Master Classes. Some of the things we’ve expanded are floral pedestals. We’ve added 11 locations this year inside and five or six outside. From the minute you get out of your car you will be immersed in a world of flowers and color and we’re really excited about that.
Lectures and classes will be held in the museum’s East Building and in the West Building, floral artists will create displays that respond to the art in those galleries. This might have been my favorite part last year. It let me see the museum’s art collection through a gardener’s eyes. Some of these floral displays are massive –nearly eight feet tall and this year there will be over 50 of them. With so many different types of events happening at once there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I asked Laura to show me how all of those flowers move around the museum.
So we’ll take the long walk down the tunnel and I’ll show you where people come in.
I’m going to take you up in this elevator here. Its coming. Monday is the day they do all the work in the west building. That’s the day when we clean the art, take stock of things, make sure nothing needs repair.
When we reached the museum’s newly renovated auditorium Laura told me about some of the classes that will take place during Art in Bloom.
We’ve got Erica Anderson from the Island of Appledore, in Maine. She’s a tie in to our Charles Hassm exhibition which happens beginning in March. Then we’ve got Julia Sherk from NCSU who will be talking about edible landscapes —how to make your backyard beautiful and eat it at the same time. We’ve got Olivier Giugni from NYC and David Beahm from NYC and Ashely Woodson Bailey will be here talking about her life and talking about what got her from flowers to photography. And Steve Taras from the Water Gardens will do two presentations in here and the American Institute of Floral Design will do two presentations. One will be Sunday morning —DIY Your Wedding. So they’ll be doing four different types of themed weddings and people can learn how to make their own. On Friday night they’ll be doing Events of a Lifetime. Basically flowers are in your life throughout. From birth to death. All sorts of things you celebrate or mourn and so people will be here from American Institute of Floral Designers, Randy Wooten from the American Institute of Floral Design will be here to teach us about that.
I made arrangements to talk with one of the speakers by phone. You see I had read about Celia Thaxter’s garden on Appledore Island. Its a tiny place, but its inspired poets, writers, painters, and volunteers for over 100 years.
My name is Erica Anderson. I’m going to be coming to the Art in Bloom to share my story about being an intern on the island and what the garden was like. Give some first hand impressions of it.
Why has this tiny garden captured so many people’s attention? A lot of volunteers have come over the years, and its not an easy place to get to. You have to make a real effort to get there. What is it that captures peoples’ attention?
I think there’s at least three different reasons. First of all, the location is so unique. Its a tiny island. Its part of the Isles of Shoals. I think there’s just an allure to this landscape, or seascape should I say, that draws people. The idea of a garden in such a difficult area and climate, I think that’s a big draw to this garden. Another part of Celia’s garden is that she was very interested in old-fashioned plants. Plants that “our grandmothers loved” is what she said in her book. Its fitting for that time because its in a time there was a lot of nostalgia. There was the American centennial and they were looking back to the pre-industrial days of the Colonial era. So her garden was a collection of special plants that would have been very much loved. I think that speaks to people today too. A lot of people come to the garden to see what their grandmothers grew.
Talk to me about the interaction of art and the natural world. Why are we so drawn to it?
I think theres a connection between beauty and what you can observe and the mind and what you can learn. I think that kind of intersection of the mind and the eye is what is perhaps what’s special about what draws artists to the garden. It totally takes the observation powers of the artists to take in the environment and learn all the different patterns, and to pull out something special -an impression of it in the artist’s work. Then it engages the artist’s mind to in order to shape a message and find meaning in what is being observed. So I think the connection between nature and man, working with nature that relationship is what entices us to create.
I’m going to Art in Bloom this year to be inspired. It will be a great prelude to the gardening season that I’m so anxious to enjoy. You can find out more about what’s in store from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s website, ncartmuseum.org. You can find this and past episodes of our podcasts at the Triangle Gardener website, trianglegardener.com. I’m Lise Jenkins. This is the Triangle Gardener. We’re your guide to enjoyable gardening in North Carolina.