• Jessica

Art in Bloom 2020 (Gone Virtual)

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

I think it's safe to say that Covid-19 has disrupted all of our lives in such unthinkable ways. We are all trying to figure out how to operate in this new-normal and that path looks different for each person. I, for example, have been reading and cooking up a storm, but I have also tried to keep my love for flowers in my daily routine because I know they bring me a sense of joy, peace, and purpose.

I was not surprised, but still heartbroken when I learned that this year's Art in Bloom was cancelled. This would be my 13th year participating and I look forward to this event every year. Held at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, this event brings in hundreds of floral artists and thousands of visitors every year. For me, it's a chance to combine two of my loves--art and flowers.

This event is lead by the Friends of the Institute and I know that they rely on this event to bring in thousands of dollars in donations--so, if you are feeling inclined, please donate here.

I decided this year that I was still going to design my floral interpretation for my selected painting, The Four Days' Battle, oil on canvas, by Abraham Storck. This painting in located in Gallery 309, which is about right there (see below) when looking at the institute from the North. Please be sure to stop in and see this beautiful painting in person, when we are all able to get out and about again.


I mean, in hindsight, I'm pretty happy with my past self for taking some killer photos of my selected painting on artwork selection night! Dark and moody, right? That's why I liked it--it's just like me!

So, since I didn't have to abide by the AIB rules (ie: no water, no dried material, no moss, stones, etc.), I decided to take my water-battle to the water!

Note: I fully respect the AIB rule-book--we have to protect the art y'all. But, seeing as we're not actually inside with said art, we can bend the rules this year.


See, I toooooold you--we can bend the rules a bit this year, right?

I think one of the most challenging decisions of this design was choosing the correct color to represent the red in the French flag. I know the flag is red, white, and blue. Yet, the painting is so dark and moody (again, like me) that the red actually comes out a bit more on the coral/lobster-red side. So, selecting a red but not-red bloom to work was a bit challenging. Especially since this pandemic isn't allowing me to enter my flower wholesalers--all has to be done via telephone and face-time....and I mean, you just can't get a REALLY good visual when you are face-timing with carnations, can you?

Luckily, my sales-rep is the best (wassup, Steven) and I'm pretty satisfied with the coral/lobster-red carnations he selected. I wove all blooms through curly willow branches that were suspended from my gold moongate (rental item--yep).

Here are a few more shots of my floral interpretation for your viewing pleasure--again, just imagine we are hanging out in Gallery 309, okay? And, since tradition has me meeting up with friends to celebrate this event--and I cannot do that this year--maybe have a cocktail in my design's honor tonight too. K, thanks!

Normally, the floral designs are placed on pedestals in front of the artwork so you can compare, critique, and oogle. Again, not a possibility this year so I'm going to drop a side-by-side below so that you can swipe from camera one to camera two. I suggest going back and forth 23 times to get the full effect, but hey--live your life. Go wild. It's not uncommon to swipe as many times as say, 153...but that also might just me trying not to go bananas in this quarantine.


For flower representation, I chose the blooms pictured below. Magnolia foliage and wintered cedar represent the ships, while gypsophila represents the waves and clouds. White blooms of hydrangea, stock flower, and roses are seen as the sails, and super nova thistle and carnations bring home the coloring of the French flags.

I did say this was my 13th year participating, yes? Well, here are a few shots of past years that I've found on my phone over the last few days--just for fun! Why not, right?! The portrait of George Washington will forever be in my top three--and I mean, Lucretia. Just, wow.

I want to thank you so much for clicking that link and choosing to be a part of my Art in Bloom experience this year, and I really hope you enjoyed my interpretation! For being a current sidelined floral designer, being down at the river with nothing but buckets of flowers and an afternoon of no commitments surrounding me was absolute medicine for my soul.

Next year Art in Bloom--it's on!

Be well, friends. Until next time,


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