Art in Bloom brings flower power to fashion

Art in Bloom brings flower power to fashion
Photo by Hilary Stein

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts kicked off its 29th annual Art in Bloom celebration yesterday with a lecture by garden designer Gordon Hayward, a floral demonstration by René van Rems, and a luncheon. There was also a Flowers After Hours fashion show where Danielle Everine, Nicole Larson, Joy Teiken, Anna Lee, Emma Berg, and Max Lohrbach all showed looks on the runway that were inspired by the garden -- or actually made from materials from the garden itself.

One of the standouts on the catwalk was Berg, who used hand-painted fabric by Lohrbach to create beautiful, flowy floral dresses, and newcomer Nicole Larson, who used flowers and branches to add unique and thoughtful touches to her garment.

Work by designer Emma Berg
Work by designer Emma Berg
Photo by Hilary Stein

An hour later, Christopher Straub took over the runway to show dresses that he created from canvases that were hand painted by artist Patrick Kemal Pryor. Straub's collection proved to be creative and cohesive with great attention to detail.

"I was inspired by the canvases that Patrick painted. The rounded images led me to use soft, undulating lines on the garments," he says. "It was such an honor for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to ask us to show our work during Art in Bloom. I've been going to MIA my entire life and it was surreal to show my art at such an iconic landmark."

Katie Eiser, chair of Flowers After Hours, says that Straub and Pryor's work demonstrate how integrated art and fashion can be.

"The dresses really are works of art," Eiser says. "The painted floral canvases are so unique and cool that we decided to use them in a stand-alone show."

In addition to the fashion show, guests were invited to observe the work of 150 local floral artists. Each one chose a piece of art at the museum, and created a floral arrangement inspired by that work.

Terri Ristow, owner of Thyme After Thyme Floral, chose Leonora Carrington's Dear Diary--Never Since We Left Prague to model her floral arrangement after.

Work by designer Christopher Straub
Work by designer Christopher Straub
Photo by Hilary Stein

"Leonora is kind of a rebel, and her painting asks a lot more questions than it answers," Ristow says. "That inspired me."

While there are some guidelines, Eiser says that the floral artists are given a lot of creative freedom with this project, making it interesting to see each interpretation. Guests are invited to take a free tour with a museum docent to hear more about both the artwork and the floral arrangements. The event is suitable for people of all ages, and the flowers add a level of creativity and beauty (and nice smell!) to the museum.

"We're so fortunate to have such a cool museum and so many talented local florists," Eiser says. "Art in Bloom really brings the museum to life and it's a fun community event."

Presented by the Friends of the Museum, an organization dedicated to financing exhibitions and providing outreach and education for children at MIA, much of the celebration is free and open to the public.

"This event is our gift to the museum and the community," Eiser says. "Everyone on the Friends of the museum board and committee is very passionate and excited for Art in Bloom. We think it's important that the event is free because art should be accessible."

Terri Ristow's take on Leonora Carrington's Dear Diary--Never Since We Left Prague.
Terri Ristow's take on Leonora Carrington's Dear Diary--Never Since We Left Prague.
Photo by Hilary Stein

There are additional ticketed events that serve as a fundraiser for the museum, including a floral demonstration ($30) and flower arranging workshop ($125) on Friday, a kids' day and string quartet performance (free) on Saturday, and the museum-wide Art in Bloom exhibit (free) Friday through Sunday.

"Art in Bloom is a lot of fun, and we're lucky to have this event take place every year," Ristow says. "There's a wide selection of events, flowers, and art for people to enjoy."

Want to take a closer look? Check out our Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts slideshow here.


Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis
For more info and a daily schedule of activities, visit online

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Minneapolis Institute of Art

2400 Third Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


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