If you thought princesses could only teach you how to tend royal gardens in fairy tales, you’d be wrong. Along with its many botanical highlights, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will host guest speaker Princess Giorgiana Corsini of Italy and other guest lecturers for this year’s installment of the annual Art in Bloom celebration April 27 through 30, 2017.
“As we are in our 34th year, many people regard this as an annual rite of spring—fresh flowers and timeless art,” said event co-chair Kris King. “The energy of up to 40,000 guests resonates through the galleries, and the scent of flowers fills the air. Everyone is ready to celebrate the end of winter.” For the four days the celebration lasts, the halls of the museum are filled with fresh and creative displays created by local floral artists, inspired by pieces in its collections. Free 45-minute guided tours are offered throughout the weekend. In addition to the beautified spaces inside the museum, King said that the guest speakers often draw a large crowd.
On Thursday, opening day, author and artist Livia Cetti will provide a lecture on and demonstration of her signature paper flowers. Floral stylist, landscape designer, and writer Lindsey Taylor will present a lecture on the Art of Inspiration at 1:00 p.m.; she has selected four pieces from Mia’s collection to interpret. Arrangements will be auctioned as a fundraiser after the demonstration. Flowers After Hours begins at 5:30 p.m. in a unique show emceed by WCCO’s Jason DeRusha. “Not your typical arrangements, these fresh flowers will literally walk across the stage as our models showcase essential attire or stunning accessories,” says the Art in Bloom website.
Friday features an already sold-out luncheon and fashion show, which for the first time is sponsored by Galleria Edina and considered part of Fashion Week Minnesota. Princess Giorgiana, who is known globally for her expertise in Renaissance gardens, will present her lecture at 10:00 a.m. Her experience in Tuscan gardens comes from managing the Giardino del Palazzo Corsini, created in 1625 at her ancestral family home in Florence, Italy.
Later, a new evening event called Carnation Appreciation will take advantage of the extended Friday hours at the museum, beginning at 6:00 p.m. “We will tell the story of the carnation, once held in high esteem, and not a grocery-store staple,” King said. “We will also offer two workshops that evening to make large paper carnations, have people take selfies in a photo booth, serve refreshments for the workshops, and have a cash bar for all Friday night patrons.”
Saturday is the popular Family Event, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Attendees can bring their kids to listen to a storyteller relate the tale of The Ice Cream King, make flower cones, get their faces painted, and participate in a scavenger hunt in nearby galleries. Throughout the weekend, the Art in Bloom Shop will be “filled with spring merchandise of every kind,” Kind said.
Although the flowery weekend at Mia is a delight to the senses, King mentioned that it also happens to be one of the museum’s most important fundraisers. “For 35 years, we have raised money to support the programs of Mia, funded community outreach projects, covered scholarships for Mia’s summer camp, and created a children’s programs fund to provide enrichment opportunities for young people. We’ve also added to the Friends Transportation Endowed Fund, which covers the cost of buses bringing thousands of students to the museum each year to explore the masterpieces in our galleries. We want to create a transportation program to extend the reach of this program. We want to offer transportation to youth organizations, summer schools, and reach out to St.Cloud, Rochester, Duluth, and other areas outside the metro area.”
Art in Bloom runs Thursday, April 27, through Sunday, April 30. There is a fee for some of the lectures and classes offered, but public tours are free. Find details and a full schedule of events here.