The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), welcomes back one of Boston’s most celebrated signs of spring, the annual “Art in Bloom” festival of flowers.
Now in its 40th year, the festival blossoms with art-inspired floral arrangements handcrafted by New England garden clubs and acclaimed professional designers from Saturday, April 30, through Monday, May 2. Inspired by artworks from Ancient Egyptian to Contemporary, this year’s 51 arrangements are located throughout the Museum’s galleries. In addition to a range of programs highlighting sustainability, the three-day festival features a special Community Day on Sunday, May 1, that offers a variety of family-friendly events, live music and art-making activities. Art in Bloom Community Day is sponsored by Converse. Supporting sponsorship for Art in Bloom from Wheaton College. Additional support provided by Fox Hill Village.
This year, “Art in Bloom” provides a fresh focus on green practices. The Community Day on Sunday, May 1, is sponsored by Converse, and visitors of all ages have the opportunity to create cityscape collages using recycled components of the company’s signature sneakers. The “Art in Bloom” Community Day also features performances by Harvard’s Radcliffe Pitches, the Roxbury Youth Orchestra, City Strings United Boston and Katsuya Yuasa.
Additionally, David Pendergast of Agora Gardens hosts a lecture on “Organic Gardening: Global, Regional, Local, Individual,” which looks at the importance of returning to more sustainable methods of growing food on both a personal and global level.
On Friday, April 29, visitors are invited to take an evening sneak peek at the arrangements from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Other festival highlights include an exclusive, hands-on master class on the art of flower arranging, taught by internationally renowned floral designer Hitomi Gilliam and offered on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, May 2, visitors are invited on a visual tour of the Rose Kennedy Greenway through the lens of its organic horticulture program, led by senior horticulturalist and designer Darrah Cole. Throughout the weekend, the MFA offers daily “Art in Bloom” tours, demonstrations on flower arranging and outdoor walking tours exploring the museum’s architecture, outdoor sculpture and neighboring gardens. Elegant Tea in the William I. Koch Gallery is served daily, offering visitors a special exeprience surrounded by grand Old Master paintings. A Flower Cart in the Sharf Visitor Center sells $10 arrangements in repurposed teacups and saucers, which have been gathered and recycled by the MFA associates.
This year’s festival includes a special “Director’s Choice” arrangement, which can be found in the Hamilton Palace Dining Room. Inspired by the room’s elegantly carved mantelpiece—chosen by Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director—the arrangement is meant to welcome Teitelbaum during his first Art in Bloom celebration.
Throughout the festival, “Art in Bloom” visitors have the opportunity to explore the museum’s current exhibitions, including Megacities Asia, featuring immersive sculptures and installations in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery and throughout the MFA; “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris,” presenting iconic landscapes by the pioneering Canadian modernist; “#techstyle,” exploring the art of innovation in fashion; and “Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso,” juxtaposing the MFA’s Picassos with loans never before shown in Boston.
“Art in Bloom” is included in Museum admission—$25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older. It is presented by the MFA associates, a group of dedicated volunteers who lead gallery tours and provide the museum’s flower arrangements throughout the year. “Art in Bloom” 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the MFA associates