Art in Bloom: Mia 2022, Minneapolis, MN

Art in Bloom

30 April 2022

Spring . . . the Sounds, the Scents & the Sights . . .

Spring . . . Fresh Flowers, Green Grass & Budding Tree Leaves . . .

Spring. . . for me. . . is welcomed with Mia’s Art in Bloom. Mia invites us to enjoy the enticing colors and fragrances of “imaginative floral interpretations of selected works of art from Mia’s permanent collection…”

One of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic was the cancellation for the past two years of this annual rite of spring for many of its loyal followers – of which I am one!

The wildly popular Art in Bloom returned to the Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art) this spring (April 28-May 1, 2022) – LIVE and in person!

from Mia placard by art, 4/30/22, P.C. Cher B 4/30/22

Art in Bloom – free and open to the public – exhibits imaginative floral interpretations of selected works of art from Mia’s permanent collection. They are created by more than 100 individual and commercial florists.

Over the course of the four-day festival, guests are invited to experience the floral beauty and fragrance throughout the museum. They may also enjoy a lecture or demonstration, and attend the preview party or free guided tour. (from artsmia.org).

Mia’s annual celebration of spring, art and fresh flowers was introduced to Minnesota in 1983, nearly 40 years ago. Inspired by the Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, the president of Mia’s volunteer Friends of the Institute, Phyllis Colwell, persuaded Mia’s then-Director, Sam Sachs, and the Friends board to bring the event to the Twin Cities. (from Mia FB post 20 April 2021)

This year’s signature piece is Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums, c. 1835. It is featured in “Floral Affair: A Bouquet for the Friends’ Centennial,” on view now in Cargill Gallery.
The Mia & Me

The Mia & Me

The Mia – Minneapolis Institute of Art – in itself has been a part of the very fiber of my being for the past several decades.

As an instructor of art history and design. As a high school teacher and university professor – I lead numerous student tours each year, building excitement and appreciation for art and art museums in the next generation.

I love color, art and flowers. The annual Art in Bloom experience has always been a highlight of the year!

After missing it during its COVID absence for the past two years, I welcomed its return. I was enthusiastically joined by two good friends who also love and enjoy both art and flowers – and this spectacular blend of them both!

P.C. MaryKay VDL 4/30/22

Our docent-led tour was perfect! The group was small and engaged. We literally “flew” around the museum as Sheila Marie, our very energetic and informative Mia docent, shared some of her favorites and fun, new information.

We explored the Mia on our own. We delved deeper into some of the displays we breezed by during our tour. Of the dozens of wonderful displays, I selected a couple of my favorite floral/art combos to share in this blog. They may not represent my favorite Mia artworks, but it does represent a variety of mediums and subjects: a sculpture, a self portrait, a wildlife ad promo for cereal – and even a piece of furniture!

Art in Bloom: the Event

Art in Bloom: The Event

Bachman’s was again the lead sponsor of Art in Bloom. A local, family-owned floral, home, and garden destination since 1885, they offer arrangements, plants, gifts, and home decor to the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and beyond!

Bachman’s always displays a showcase piece. This year a vibrant cascade of colorful flowers replaced the water in the 2nd floor rotunda massive Grecian fountain.

Who attended this spectacular show?

A gloomy, rainy day in Minneapolis – a 3-year absence – and a voluntary (vs. required) mask mandate – all contributed to the sea of people who attended this year’s Art in Bloom.

With a magnificent vantage point from a 3rd floor balcony, this photo provides an interesting snapshot of attenders of the event: senior citizens with walkers – to babies in strollers – and people of all ages in-between, seemed pre-programmed to social distance at 6′ apart!

P.C. Cher B 4/30/2022

Art in Bloom: the Displays

Art in Bloom: the Displays

Self Portrait

One of my favorites was both the original art and the floral arrangement titled “Self Portrait” (1923). Bachman’s Jen Pecyga pulled out not only the vibrant colors of the original oil painting by Frances Cranmer Greenman but also the luxurious textures.

A new artist to me, I was excited to discover Greenman was a renowned local portrait painter who taught at Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD), next door to the Mia! Socialites of New York, Hollywood, and Florida were among her subjects. She portrays herself in this self portrait as the stylish society lady she was. Against a background of what appears to be Paris, she uses a pallet of brash oranges, greens and purples. Colors of the Expressionist art movement of the 1920s, this was boldly radical by Minneapolis standards! I look forward to exploring additional artwork by her. (from Mia placard by art, 4/30/22)

P.C. Cher B 4/30/2022

A Bear – and Cream of Wheat!

The Cream of Wheat paintings – of which the Mia has several – have fascinated me over the years in my visits to the Mia. It provided a unique subject for a floral interpretation!

This time, I was intrigued by the floral rendition done by Diane Enge (Bachman’s) for this show! The floral arrangement was representational of the bear and its surroundings – and yet realistic. I especially loved the portrayal of the sticky white snow as well as the bear’s menacing claws and pointed snout!

A “Bear” Chance (1907) was one of the original artworks commissioned by Cream of Wheat company to advertise their cereals. Philip R. Goodwin is known for his wildlife paintings which often portrayed the tension caused by the presence of people in the wilderness. In this painting, the artist implies the human presence by the box of Cream of Wheat being so clearly enjoyed by this grizzly bear! (from Mia placard by art, 4/30/22)

P.C. Cher B 4/30/2022

Furniture

One of the more surprising displays was a floral arrangement based on a piece of furniture! A very large piece of furniture! The wood base and the draped fabric in both the settle* and the arrangement, along with the rendition of the stylized flowers from the headboard into life flowers was an unusual but intriguing study.

*A settle is defined as a wooden bench, usually with arms and a high back, long enough to accommodate three or four sitters.

Floral arrangement by Ronald Kvaas, Beth Oelke, and Vatsala Menon of the Lake Owasso Garden Club enjoyed the “opportunity to interpret with yellow, jade and red, while also using woodworking skills.”
P.C. Cher B 4/30/22

“Settle” by Philip Webb and Kate Faulkner (British) was created for Morris & Co., London. c. 1880. It is made of oak, gilded gesso, brass; the upholstery is modern. The extensive posting beside the piece was enlightening:

“William Morris and others initiated the Arts & Crafts movement in reaction to – in their eyes – the ugly, slipshod, and soulless quality of factory-made housewares. They looked backwards in time to a romantic ideal of workshop-based production pursued by skilled craftspeople, not industrial laborers. . . This settle harkens back to the Middle Ages where. . . the high-backed bench form originated in monasteries … and sheltered the sitter from cold drafts and trapped the warmth of the hearth… This piece represents Faulkner at her most creative as she worked with Morris in this low relief, gold covered designs on wooden furniture…” (Mia 4/30/22)

P.C. Cher B 4/l30/22

Sculpture

This floral arrangement not only captured this challenging subject but made it one of the favorites of the show! It showcased a new art piece at the Mia, installed during the pandemic,

P.C. Cher B 4/30/2022

“Processional image of a Large Swan (Belya Annam)”

This 19th century artwork from India introduced another culture and medium to the show.

This radiating “large swan” bust is made of Jack fruit wood, pigments, cloth, mirrors, beetle wings and paper. It would have formed the top part of a processional structure measuring more than 40 feet tall. It was originally commissioned as an effigy of the goddess Kali during the Pooram Padayani festival. (from Mia placard by art, 4/30/22)

Floral arrangement by Amber Tritabaugh of Petals to Pines Floral at 101 Market.
P.C. Cher B 4/30/2022

Art in Bloom 2022 at the Mia once again introduced a new spring season. A museum bursting with great art and beautiful flowers shouted out the victorious return of the annual event silenced by the pandemic shut down.

It was a reminder to never take anything for granted – and always appreciate and savor things that we too often take for granted.

For more posts on the Mia and my visits, experiences and reflections, check out Related Posts below.

Getting there

Transportation & Dining

Transportation options include

  • Cars:
    • Parking ramps and lots (fee, credit card only)
    • Valet parking (fee)
    • On-street neighborhood parking (free) – watch for monitored timing limits; the closer to the museum, the less time is available. Remember, there are not only hundreds of cars visiting the museum, but also many apartments in the area with only on-street parking.
  • Bicycle racks available (free)
  • Metro Transit

Dining options include

  • Agri-Culture on-site cafe (lunch hours) on 2nd floor
  • Agri-Culture coffee, snack and beverage bar by museum shop

Sources

  • Self-guided tour by Cher B, Adjunct Professor of Art History and Design, Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. 4/l30/2022
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art website artsmia.org. 4/30/2022
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art placards beside each work of art. 4/22l30/2022

Related Posts

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