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  • Mary-Catherine Hartel

Kaleidoscope Takeover at MIA

All winter we wait for the day when the grass will be green the sun will warm us up and flowers will be everywhere. Lately, it has seemed like winter will never end, but for me, my beacon of hope is the Art in Bloom show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Art in Bloom before, let me catch you up! This is a wonderful, four-day long festival held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) to help raise funds to support community projects done by the MIA. The festival celebrates art with flowers. Floral designers, enthusiasts, and garden clubs sign up to create a flower arrangement or creation inspired by a piece of artwork in the museum. Some go with a literal interpretation of their chosen art, while others use elements of the artwork to inspire their own design. Some designers are lucky enough to be given full free creative license within the parameters of the rules by just being asked to fill a in the building.

The Institute of Floristry is one of those groups, and we are typically given an area outside, in front of the main entrance, in which to create our floral installation. In past years our designs have included a floral water spout, a large human form that we lovingly dubbed “Amina,” and a gorgeous Southern floral ball gown. This year, the school created a larger-than-life, fully functional, floral kaleidoscope. Ardith and her team of excellent students, volunteers, and Lynne (one of our other instructors and owner of Your Enchanted Florist), spent months planning, designing and prepping for project! (Very special thanks go out to Lynne’s father, who helped with the construction of the supporting structure.)

KDIOF put the kaleidoscope together on Wednesday before the Art in Bloom event kicked off. It took the group of 21 designers eight hours to put together this magical kaleidoscope, but their hard work paid off! As you can tell from the pictures, this kaleidoscope was huge. When you looked inside and turned the handle, you could see the wheel spinning and creating a whirlwind of color and textures through a variety of different flowers.

I love this festival because it is a revitalization of creativity and inspiration through a nontraditional and unexpected medium. It gives people a chance to step out of the routine of their normal everyday designing and explore their creativity. We have a lot of students who participate in this festival each year. It is fun to walk around and look at how the designer chose to interpret the art. Joy is everywhere, people are full of excitement, and this kaleidoscope was not only beautiful to look at, but look into and interact with.

We highly encourage participation in and attendance at this event! You will leave feeling inspired, refreshed, and ready to design! Please follow MIA and subscribe for updates – more details about Art in Bloom 2018 will be announced as they become available!

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