Every spring, the art at New Orleans Museum of Art isn’t just on the walls – it’s in the form of more than 100 elaborate floral displays, usually referencing art or local culture, exhibited for Art in Bloom. The annual week-long event (March 16-20) kicks off with a patron and preview party, featuring food, drinks and an art auction, and then continues with a week of lectures and a fashion show luncheon at Saks Fifth Avenue. Speakers include Princess Giorgiana Corsini of Florence, Italy, an expert in the design and history of Italian Renaissance gardens, and Frances Shultz, contributing editor to House Beautiful, author and blogger. Mathilde Currence (left), Art in Bloom co-chair, and Dana Hansel (right), NOMA Volunteer Committee Chair, gave us some information on this year’s floral fête.
How do you solicit the exhibitors for floral displays; have they always been so elaborate? DH: We solicit the floral designers based on who the committee believes are the best in the area. Because of the great talent in our city, the designs are amazing and different every year, which personally, is the true beauty of this event. Imaginations and creativity are unleashed. The first year the event had eight tablescapes, floral designs and speakers, and the event has grown every year since.
MC: The community rallies around Art in Bloom. Most of the committee chairs this year have participated in past years, and we added some new members. The committees run with the theme, and lots of the exhibitors participate year after year. It is incredible what they continue to create.
The different exhibitors fall into Bonsai, Exterior Designs, Garden Clubs, Creative Designs, Ikebana, Movers and Shakers, Professional Florists or Tablescapes categories, and local schools even participate in the Young Artists categories. Each committee chair solicits their own exhibitors, however we have found that lots will contact the museum because they enjoy participating in this event every year.
What is the theme of the event this year? What else can people expect at this year’s event? MC: The theme of the event this year is Artful Entertaining. We are celebrating how we entertain in New Orleans and how we incorporate flowers into our entertaining. We decided on the theme after my friends Benton Weinstock and Annie Behringer from Los Angeles agreed to be speakers for the event. They created an entertaining/decorating service called a2b Table. They talk about how a beautifully set table can change the entire mood and feel of an event. I feel that we entertain like nowhere else in New Orleans!
Our hope was that we could share some ideas with Benton and Annie from Los Angeles, Frances Shultz who is also in California and Princess Corsini in Italy, and bring some of that knowledge into how we entertain at home, only adding to our local flair.
For more information on Art in Bloom, visit NOMA.org.