Blossoming flower arrangements have sprung up at the Springfield Art Museum Art in Bloom festival as florists and fashion designers come together to interpret works of art through fresh and creative displays.
Art in Bloom is an effort that began at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 1976, and it eventually became popular in museums across the country. Springfield hosted their first signature event last year, bringing in nearly $21,000 for the museum, according to Joshua Best, the development and marketing coordinator for the Springfield Art Museum.
Proceeds from the Art in Bloom event will benefit the Museum’s Art Acquisition Fund.
Opening with a family fun night on Thursday and a preview party on Friday, the event lasted all weekend through Sunday, April 28.
The preview party featured a nature-inspired runway show with original creations from local fashion designers Jennifer Vaughn and Joseph Pyatt.
Several Missouri State students were featured in the show as well, including Brianna Miller, Kelsey Ball, Rei Radford and Elizabeth Victrola.
Kelsey Ball, a senior merchandising and fashion design major, was one of the designers.
“My look was inspired by the silhouette of a flower,” Ball said. “I made skinny floral print pants and a fluffy tulle top to make her appear as a flower and stem walking the runway from a distance.”
For her final look, Ball drew her inspiration from the pants’ design.
“I designed the pants last semester for my design challenges class and figured a floral-themed show would be a great opportunity to show them,” Ball said. “I wanted the top to somewhat resemble the beige flowers from the pants’ print.”
Ball said she could not pass up the opportunity to have a floral theme for her first runway show.
“Seeing my creation on the runway was so surreal, and I felt so proud to show it off,” Ball said. “It’s one of my favorite looks I’ve ever made.”
Floral workshops and live musical performances filled the lobby on Saturday and Sunday, and the vibrant floral arrangements were open to the public.
The featured florists created 28 arrangements inspired by the current works on display in the museum’s collection which were then judged for various prizes.
Judging was dispersed across three different categories — best overall, most creative take and most traditional.
Sarah Williams, associate professor from Missouri State’s art and design department, was a juror for the florists’ awards.
Williams said she very much enjoyed the event and was honored to be selected to judge the entries.
“I was really impressed with the floral arrangements,” Williams said. “There was a huge range in ingenuity, creativity and expression.”
Best said a wide range of work was seen at the event.
“We tried to honor people who are doing literal interpretations, so they may just recreate what they see in the painting but only in flowers,” Best said. “We also have people who may just use the colors of a painting to inspire their interpretation.”
Not only paintings, but photographs, sculptures and textiles were all brought to life in the artists’ creations of radiant floral displays. Draping around the artwork, red roses interspersed with a myriad of colorful flowers around nearly every corner of the museum.
“We don’t really put a lot of rules on it,” Best said. “They’re allowed to use fresh flowers, artificial, or nontraditional materials like fiber and paper to create their arrangements.
By combining fine art with unique floral displays, the event allowed artists to explore depictions of fine art inspired by springtime.
“It’s really about highlighting the art, the craft and skill of floral designers,” Best said. “We let them, as much as possible in a museum setting, allow their creativity to run wild.”