Spring is no longer in doom

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will be transformed into a bursting bouquet of flowers for the 28th annual Art in Bloom exhibit.

A piece from last year's Art In Bloom exhibit

Photo courtesy: Minneapolis Institute of Art

A piece from last year’s Art In Bloom exhibit

Carter Haaland


What: Art in Bloom

When: Today through Sunday

Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S.

Cost: Free

This weekend a wondrous aroma will leak from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and billow out into the streets. An expected 20,000 guests will let their noses lead them to the 28th annual âÄúArt in BloomâÄù exhibit.

This free, four-day event will welcome guests to come sniff the aromatic bliss of spring while feasting their eyes on extravagant displays and interpretations of museum artwork, all in flowers.

The theme of this yearâÄôs exhibit is âÄúSensing Spring.âÄù Though the transition of seasons is undoubtedly celebrated, the exhibit is also an ode to our senses.

âÄúItâÄôs not just âÄòSensing Spring,âÄô said Pauline Altermatt, co-chairwoman of the committee responsible for hosting the event. âÄúItâÄôs celebrating the five senses and how they help us achieve balance and wellness in our lives.âÄù

The visual and aromatic appeal of the exhibit is quite conspicuous. Dazzling displays of color will grab the eyesâÄô attention, whilefragrances will flood the nostrils. The event will also feature chocolate tasting, music by Café Accordion Orchestra and massages courtesy of The Marsh.

The foundation of the exhibit will be the 170 âÄúpedestal artists.âÄù These pedestal artists, also known as floral designers, pick a piece of artwork from the museum and then recreate it in a spectacular floral arrangement. The florists are given the freedom to interpret or reinterpret whichever piece of artwork they like, however they see fit.

âÄúIt might be anything from a statue to an oil painting to a watercolor âÄî it can be anything,âÄù Altermatt said. âÄúItâÄôs maybe the color, maybe the mood that theyâÄôre trying to recreate. ItâÄôs just kind of whatever inspires them.âÄù

There are also 20 major commercial florists who will present scintillating displays throughout the museum.

A large, vivacious arrangement, courtesy of Richfield Flowers and Events, will be the first to welcome guests in the entryway of the museum.

âÄúWeâÄôre doing a giant frame with a large urn of fresh flowers. ItâÄôs sort of like youâÄôre looking through a picture frame to view the floral arrangement,âÄù said Marilyn Weis, manager and designerat Richfield Flowers and Events. âÄúWe enjoy all of the creative juices and gathering with other people and other florists. We just enjoy the creative aspect of seeing all the flowers come to life.âÄù

Another large display, presented by Wisteria Design Studio, will emerge as a striking monochromatic arrangement featuring different shades of green. These commercial florists arenâÄôt afraid to go big.

âÄúItâÄôs going to be pretty tall,âÄù Wisteria artistic director Russell Toscano said. âÄúThere are some bamboo poles that will reach up about 10 feet.âÄù

Toscano is a seasoned veteran of the âÄúArt in BloomâÄù exhibit, having participated since 1988. However, Toscano isnâÄôt the only one returning to the exhibit year after year âÄî guests are too.

âÄúWeâÄôve noticed that traffic has increased and increased and increased over the years,âÄù said Toscano. âÄúThereâÄôs nothing more glorious than a museum full of flowers. Especially when weâÄôre barely out of winter.âÄù

No matter what Mother Nature throws at us this weekend, spring will be in session at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. All we can do is hope that Art in Bloom is foreshadowing whatâÄôs to come.

âÄúItâÄôs a wonderful welcome of spring, and I think after this Minnesota winter we all deserve it,âÄù Altermatt said.