Minneapolis Institute of Art readies for annual ‘Art in Bloom’ exhibition

Mia’s festival features expert guest speakers and volunteer opportunities for UMN students.

Art in Bloom 2016: Spring Fling; Thursday April 28 - Sunday May 1, 2016; The 33rd year of Art in Bloom, a four-day festival of fresh floral arrangements and fine art, presented by the Friends of the Institute at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Charles Walbridge

Art in Bloom 2016: Spring Fling; Thursday April 28 – Sunday May 1, 2016; The 33rd year of Art in Bloom, a four-day festival of fresh floral arrangements and fine art, presented by the Friends of the Institute at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Joe Cristo

At the end of the month, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will host Art in Bloom — a festival of museum artwork-inspired fresh floral arrangements.

The MIA iteration of Art in Bloom is organized by Friends of the Institute and will be held from April 27 to 30. Now in its 34th year, it is one of the largest and most profitable Art in Bloom events in the country.

“The masterpieces throughout are awe inspiring and open to all,” Art in Bloom co-chair Kris King said. “For many visitors, this will be their first time visiting the MIA.”

The idea for Art in Bloom originated in Boston and was soon copied by art institutes around the country.

“Our [Friends of the Institute] president went and thought it was the perfect antidote for our long and gloomy winters,” co-chair Teresa Pfister said.

Volunteer floral artists create the festival’s main attractions. During the festival, the artists’ days are spent refreshing and discussing the inspiration for their pieces.

“Nature is art in its purest form,” King said. “The combination of floral arrangements with MIA masterpieces brings out the very best in both.”

Additionally, each day of the festival boasts an itinerary of guest speakers talking about their connection to Art in Bloom or floral patterns and arrangements.

“Our goal is to try and find well-respected speakers that have a timely message that might resonate with our audience,” King said. “Our featured speaker is Princess Giorgiana Corsini from Florence, Italy. She brings the romance of Italy and the Tuscan Gardens to Minnesota.”

This year, the Art in Bloom fashion show is moving from the museum’s Target Reception Hall to the Pillsbury Auditorium.

“For the first time, the fashion show is part of Fashion Week Minnesota,” King said. “This improves the visibility of
Art in Bloom to a new audience, and the auditorium will be filled.”

Community engagement is important to the vitality of the Art in Bloom movement. The change of seasons is meant to attract a broad spectrum of visitors from around the cities — including those who wish to volunteer.

“Most of the work for Art in Bloom is done by volunteers,” Pfister said. “Most of those volunteers are students from the [University of Minnesota], and we’ve been trying to reach a closer relationship with the University.”

This budding connection includes the proposal of a partnership with the Weisman Art Museum for future exhibitions or community events.

Still, Art in Bloom is first and foremost a celebration of the colors, smells and beauty of nature and spring.

“It’s a pleasure of the senses,” King said. “The scent of flowers, the beauty of the art and floral interpretations and the sound of thousands of guests celebrating the rite of spring.”