Art in Bloom exhibits will fill TMA with flowersWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Flowers will soon fill Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) for Art in Bloom, a four-day celebration set to coincide with Mother’s Day weekend.
Art in Bloom will consist of two free exhibits. One, to be displayed in the main museum, will feature floral arrangements inspired by pieces from TMA’s art collection. The other, to be displayed in the Glass Pavilion, will feature floral arrangements displayed in glass vessels designed by local florists and created by TMA’s glass artists.
TMA curators and ambassadors developed a list of 45 TMA pieces for 23 local florists and garden club members to select from to use as inspiration when designing their floral arrangements, said Elizabeth Emmert, co-chair of the event with Cindy Rimmelin. Both are past presidents of the Toledo Museum of Art Museum Ambassadors, which organized the weekend events, and have been planning the event for the past year.
“I think [visitors will like] seeing the way each arranger has interpreted the art works and the different flowers they’ve used,” Emmert said. “I visited an Art in Bloom at the Carnegie Museum last spring and was just stunned by the way they could re-create what a painting looks like, particularly with the colors in the abstract paintings.”
The pieces on the list were diverse, ranging from paintings, sculptures, Egyptian coffins and chandeliers, Emmert said.
“I think everyone’s so excited for something light and spring-like after that winter,” Emmert said.
“It will be a fun way to look at some of the museum collection in a very different way. It’s a totally different way of looking at art.”
Art in Bloom events have been part of fundraising efforts for museums across the country for decades. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has held the event for more than 35 years. But the addition of glass vessels designed by florists is unique to Toledo, Emmert said.
“Brian Kennedy thought it would be great to represent the fact that Toledo has a history in glass and that’s why we have a special twist to it that I don’t think any other Art in Bloom has,” Emmert said.
“Glass is an essential part of our legacy, and it’s a medium we continue to explore in new ways,” Kennedy said in a news release. “Introducing the vessel as an equal part of the floral arrangement will be a unique visual opportunity.”
The vessels, which range from classic to abstract, will be displayed throughout the Glass Pavilion.
“They are just fantastic. They are very different. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but each one is quite unique,” Emmert said. “Each florist came in and had half a day to work with our glass artists.”
Angel Elden, owner of Angel 101 in Perrysburg, is one of the 12 area florists who designed a glass vessel with the help of TMA Glass Studio Manager Jeff Mack.
“Mine is a very unusual freeform piece,” Elden said. “Besides the top, there’s actually a second hole off to the side where I’m going to have some additional blooms.”
Elden said she brought some inspiration with her, but didn’t go in with a fully preplanned color or pattern.
“I walked through the Glass Pavilion and picked out a couple of artists — Dale Chihuly, Marvin Lipofsky — who are very freeform, organic,” Elden said. “I also took pieces of interest to me — a piece of moss, a tulip bulb, a really cool twisted branch. These to me are cool and organic and, just like in the spring, you never know what you’re going to get out of the ground. Really fresh and new. That’s what I wanted to do.”
It’s the same method Elden plans to use when arranging flowers in the vessel.
“I have some things picked out and somewhat of a concept, but again I want to do it very free-form. Sometimes you think you’re going to go one way but then you stop and say, ‘No, I love this,’” Elden said. “I’m anxious to see it all come together.”
Both sets of arrangements will be on display starting May 8. Free, hour-long floral exhibition tours will be offered at 1 p.m. May 9, 11 a.m. and noon May 10 and 1 and 2 p.m. May 11. Tours begin on the lower level of the main museum near the Matisse mural.
The glass vessels will be auctioned off during a live auction at the Tuileries Jubilee Gala, set for 6:30-10 p.m. May 8, but will remain on display at the museum through May 11. The gala will offer heavy grazing, live entertainment and a silent auction. Cost is $125 for museum members and $150 for nonmembers.
Author, interior designer and Southern Living editor-at-large James Farmer will make his first visit to Toledo as part of the Art in Bloom weekend celebration.
A lecture and demonstration is set for 10 a.m. May 9 at the main museum. Cost is $30. A luncheon, set for noon May 9 and featuring French-inspired cuisine, is $30. Advance reservations are required. Farmer will also offer a spring wreath workshop 2-4 p.m. May 9. Cost is $90 and space is limited.
“I’ll be talking about my background, growing up in a small southern town,” said Farmer during a recent phone interview. “Family recipes, gardening on the farm, some fun parts to growing up that brought me to where I am today.
“I always hope people are educated but entertained as well,” Farmer said. “I hope they learn something they can take home and enrich their lives, but I hope to entertain as well.”
Farmer’s main influence was his grandmother, who taught him how to cook and instilled in him an appreciation of the garden-to-table lifestyle.
His newest book, “Dinner on the Ground: Southern Suppers and Soirees,” a cookbook featuring events, recipes and stories, is set to be published this spring.
“It’s my life set in menu form,” said Farmer, who was born and raised in Georgia. “You can cook a whole meal or just one dish. It’s full of fresh, local ingredients and it’s southern-inspired.”
Wreath workshop attendees will be making a wreath of dried flowers from one of Farmer’s books, “Wreaths for All Seasons.”
“These workshops are a lot of fun because you really get an opportunity to work hand in hand with people and give them a little bit of instruction and just get to know them a little bit,” Farmer said.
Farmer has been editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine for about three years. His family was featured in the Thanksgiving issue and the current issue features his idea for a hanging basket using a pulley system.
“It gives me a great outlet when I have fun ideas to share,” Farmer said.
When decorating for spring, Farmer suggested looking outside for inspiration and bringing the outdoors in. But first — spring cleaning.
“It’s a little bit of a cliche, but spring cleaning does a lot for design,” Farmer said. “We kind of hibernate and nest all winter so you want to put up those heavy blankets and sweaters and any reminder of winter and then look outside for inspiration. Bring something from the outside in.”
Other TMA events
Other events at TMA over Mother’s Day weekend include a Mother’s Day brunch in the Glass Pavilion with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 11. Cost is $35 for adults, $17.50 for ages 3-11 and free for ages 2 and younger. Cuisine will be French-themed and there will be live music, a family photo and a cash bar. Advance reservations are required.
There will also be flower-themed activities for children age 10 and younger in the Family Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8, 3:30-8 p.m. May 9 and noon to 5 p.m. May 11.
Proceeds from the ticketed events support TMA art education programs. Some events may be sold out. Call TMA at (419) 255-8000 ext. 7469 to check availability.
Admission to TMA, 2445 Monroe St., is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday and major holidays.
May 11 is also the final day for the exhibit, “The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden.”
For more information, call (419) 255-8000 or visit toledomuseum.org/events/art-in-bloom.
Tags: Art in Bloom, Cindy Rimmelin, Dale Chihuly, Dinner on the Ground, Dinner on the Ground: Southern Suppers and Soirees, Elizabeth Emmert, James Farmer, Marvin Lipofsky, Mothers Day, Southern Living, TMA, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art Ambassadors