Restoration DramaOn its own, this French urn is an object of beauty. Add flowers, such as liatrus and lisianthus and it’s a masterpiece for a centerpiece. Note that the flowers are not in the center of the table, but to one side, so you can see across.

After a year off, “Art in Bloom” is back to celebrate its 19th year with the theme, “Vive La Nouvelle Orleans!”, which coincides with a fabulous new exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art, “Femme, femme, femme: Paintings of Women in French Society from Daumier to Picasso from the Museums of France.” This exhibit will feature 83 paintings by such greats as Pablo Picasso, Eduoard Manet, Auguste Renoir and Berthe Morisot from the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and other French museums.

Restoration DramaThe champagne is served in a glass ice bucket surrounded by liatrus. To keep the flowers in place, put one rubber band at the top and another rubber band near the bottom. Cut flowers the same size and slip in between so they are uniform. Hide the mechanics with beautiful ribbon.

It is on display March 4 to June 3. “Art in Bloom” is one of the most creative events in the city, as artists, floral designers and garden club members interpret the museum’s collection of paintings and sculpture in flowers.

To celebrate this exhibit and the return of “Art in Bloom,” I went to the museum to see what ideas I could get for having an “Art in Bloom” party at home. I started by choosing a fabulous painting with a French theme and created a tablescape around the ballet dancers. Chairs were accented with ballet tutus, the table set with the finest French china and stemware, beautiful flowers placed in French porcelain, and
champagne complete the look.

Why don’t you have your own “Art in Bloom” party at home before you go to the museum? Gather friends together for an early cocktail party and offer French cheeses (I love the selection at the St. James Cheese Company), fruit and champagne. You don’t need much in the way of hors d’oeuvres because the patron party features premier restaurants from all over the city, as well as music and incredible drinks. Vive la Nouvelle Orleans!

Restoration DramaThese chairs were created by Luis Colmenares—yes, he is back at his studio in Chalmette (570-0923).
He created these stylized women chairs for “Art in Bloom” 10 years ago. To decorate the chairs, I added flowers and tutus from Orient Expressed.

Restoration Drama


“Art in Bloom: Vive la Nouvelle Orleans!”

March 28 to April 1
New Orleans Museum of Art
    This event features more than 100 exhibitors who create floral designs, sculptures and tableaux that complement the museum’s paintings. The event benefits the educational projects and exhibitions at NOMA and projects of the Garden Study Club of New Orleans, including the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Longue Vue House and Gardens and the restoration of the garden at Project Lazarus.

Schedule of Events

March 28
Patron & Preview Party
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. New Orleans Museum of Art
    More than 20 restaurants will serve food and Rebirth Brass Band, Sunpie Barnes and his Afro-Caribbean Sunspots and Vavavoom will be the night’s entertainment. The silent auction will offer over 75 original works of art, in keeping with the event’s theme.

March 29
Morning Lecture and Floral Demonstration by Rene Hofstede of New York’s Mille Fiori Floral and Event Design
10 a.m. New Orleans Museum of Art

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. Pavilion of Two Sisters in City Park. Modeling by Ballin’s.

Afternoon Lecture and Demonstration by Haskell Eargle, master florist
1:30 p.m. New Orleans Museum of Art

March 29 to April 1
“Art in Bloom” is open to the public for the price of admission to the museum.

For more information and tickets, call 658-4121. You can also purchase tickets online at:www.noma.org.