Art in Bloom at NCMA

Art in Bloom at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina took place last week — and for a flower and art enthusiast, this is the best time of the year at our local art museum.


For this event, florists randomly select a piece of art within the museum and then spend months designing a floral sculpture that is inspired by their corresponding piece of art. Some floral pieces are more literal — relying on mirroring colors, textures, and subject matters. Others are more abstract in that they might hold only slight parallels to the originating art. Regardless of where the floral sculptures fall on this spectrum, they all contribute to a major transformation within the museum where the outdoor world is brought in and placed center stage. Petals fall, leaves cast shadows on the floors, and fragrant blooms fill the air. (Lilies, we found, were especially aromatic.)

Moreover, it is fun to trace the blooms across the various pieces. My partner and I observed the 40 different floral arrangements and strove to identify how frequently delphinium, hydrangeas, and kangaroo paw were used in a variety of pieces. We found that Queen Anne’s Lace was only used sparingly, whereas roses and carnations were in abundance. I was shocked by the size and maturity of monstera leaves (What would happen to these leaves that demonstrate great growth after the event ends?) and the sheer number of flowers included in some pieces.


Art in Bloom, while beautiful and lovely for all the obvious reasons seen when we focus our attention on flowers, is also noteworthy because it is the most highly attended fundraising event for the museum each year. Folks crowd around art and around their temporary sculptures — demonstrating a beautiful sense of devotion to the power of flowers.



If you are interested in learning more about Art in Bloom, explore “Reframing Art with Nature: Flowers, People, and Art in Bloom.”