A few weeks ago, I headed up to the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) in Portland, Maine. They were hosting their second annual "Art in Bloom." This is an event that many museums host, where local florists and garden clubs are challenged to create floral designs inspired by specific works of art in the museum. We took a docent-led tour of the Art in Bloom installation and it was fascinating for two major reasons:
- The docent really wanted us to give our opinions about whether or not the floral arrangements "worked." There was a lot of disagreement in the crowd, which was interesting.
- The docent shared some of the parameters of the challenge with us: (1) Floral artists get to choose from a list of works. Every single artist received their first choice this year. (2) Water is not allowed in any of the containers, so the florists have to refresh the arrangements every day -- sometimes more than once a day. Also: fresh flowers in Maine in February.
Take a peek at the arrangements and see if you think they "work."
I like Art in Bloom as a concept for several reasons:
- It forces me to look at artwork for a much longer time than I normally would and really consider how it was put together -- or what elements are most vital to its composition.
- It makes me think about what "inspiration" really is. Should the arrangements be a copy of the original work of art? Is a response to the work rather than an imitation okay? Are the flowers meant to tell a story or simply mimic the visuals?
- It forces me to think of floral arrangements as a form of artistic expression. How obvious and yet how overlooked.
- I love seeing flowers in the museum!
I will say that Portland's Art in Bloom was not quite as impressive as the Museum of Fine Arts (2017, 2018) here in Boston. It was smaller in scale, but I also thought the floral arrangements were lacking in imagination in many instances. Nonetheless, a very enjoyable afternoon that I'm delighted to share with you!
Thanks for stopping by!