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Art in Bloom 2009: Celebrating 26 Years Timeless Art and Fresh Flowers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- Celebrating its 26th year, Art in Bloom continues its much-anticipated tradition as the major fund-raising event of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Sponsored by the Friends of the Institute, this perennial event pairs exquisite arrangements by top floral designers with masterworks from the museum’s collection. In addition, professional florists install lavish displays outside of the galleries. General admission is free; some events have a nominal fee.

The theme for the four-day event, “An American Classic,” is beautifully represented in the signature image White Lotus by Minnesota photographer Cy DeCosse. Chosen by the Friends for its “appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of nature,” the photograph is also an apt symbol for the museum’s blossoming in size and scope. White Lotus was recently donated to the MIA by the artist, and will be on view in the museum lobby during the event.

Art in Bloom opens with a Gala Preview Party on Wednesday, April 29, featuring a silent auction, dinner, and live music. From Thursday, April 30, through Sunday, May 3, the museum will be filled with professionally crafted floral displays, plus 180 pedestal pieces created by individual and garden-club floral artists. Arrangements will be on view next to the works of art that inspired them. Throughout the weekend, docent-led tours, lectures, demonstrations, luncheons, and events will captivate visitors. The Art in Bloom Shop will offer American Classic-inspired crafts, gifts, books, and garden items.

On Thursday at 10 A.M., photographer and landscape designer Rick Darke presents a visual tour of global gardens, natural habitats, and urban landscapes in his lecture “The Art of Observation.” At 2 P.M. that day, world-renowned floral designer Joe Smith of Nashville demonstrates the intricacies of his craft at “Southern and Sassy Floral Designs.” Thursday evening offers the popular Flowers After Hours party from 5 to 9 P.M.

Friday’s 2 P.M. lecture, “Neoflora: Mixing Timeless Flowers with the Unexpected” by noted Canadian floral designer and instructor Hitomi Gilliam, explores the creative potential of contemporary floral design inspired by the MIA’s collection. Saturday’s lineup includes a free family day event from 1 to 4 P.M. featuring Minnesota author Peter Hoffman and his new children’s book, Ferret in the Garret, inspired by the art of Jackson Pollock.

Visitors can register online for Art in Bloom’s ticketed lectures, events, and lunches at www.artsmia/art-in-bloom. To reserve by phone, call (612) 870-3279. Reservations are recommended.

Art in Bloom has raised approximately $2.8 million over the past twenty-six years. Such funds go towards acquiring artwork, sponsoring exhibitions, presenting lectures and programs, supporting the efforts of the MIA’s Education Division, and underwriting the museum’s operating costs.

Art in Bloom will again contribute to the Friends Children’s Fund and to the Friends Transportation Fund. Together, these initiatives will provide every second-grader in the Minneapolis Public Schools with an opportunity to visit the museum as well as new classroom materials.

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