NCMA Recommends: Art in Bloom

John Henry Twachtman, In the Greenhouse, circa 1895, oil on canvas, 25 — 16 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina

For a few days each year, the galleries of the North Carolina Museum of Art are filled with living art. Using the medium of flowers, a group of generous artists descends on West Building to interpret the collection in their own unique styles, and their work becomes Art in Bloom. John Henry Twachtman’s In the Greenhouse was the subject of just such a reimagining in 2018 when designers Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens styled their greenhouse window into a lush rendition of the painter’s work of art. Twachtman was an American impressionist best known for landscapes, but this painting provides a glimpse into his personal world and serves as an entry point to all things floral.

Floral designers Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens interpret John Henry Twachtman, In the Greenhouse, Art in Bloom, North Carolina Museum of Art, 2018

Flower Punk

Join us for a virtual meeting of the NCMA Film Club on Friday, June 11, 7 pm, when we discuss the short documentary Flower Punk. Our special guests will be Art in Bloom floral designers Onay Cruz Gutierrez, Carol Dowd, and Joseph Barnes.


Mix one of these floral cocktails to enjoy on a hot spring night.

Reading Recommendations

– Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom (Phaidon, 2020). Examines how artists have portrayed flowers throughout history using thoughtful and interesting juxtapositions.
– Being with Flowers: Floral Art as Spiritual Practice by Anthony Ward (2017). Provides guided meditations and step-by-step floral arrangements to help readers explore their relationship with nature.
– The Murmur of Bees by Sof­a Segovia (2019). The story of a gifted child and his adoptive parents during the Mexican Revolution and influenza pandemic of 1918.
– Floral Libations by Cassie Winslow (2019). Forty-one drink recipes using edible flowers.

Children’s Books

Laurence Anholt is a UK-based author whose award-winning children’s books include splendidly illustrated stories about the lives of famous artists. We suggest you start with The Magical Garden of Claude Monet or Van Gogh and the Sunflowers.

Video Picks

– Art in Bloom studio visit with Julie Vaughan of Wake Forest Florist
– Feature on Art in Bloom, North Carolina Weekend, PBS NC
– Floral dog collars fashioned by Atlanta-based florist and 2019 Mayesh Design Star Shean Strong for his furry friends
– Corso Zundert flower parade in the Netherlands if you’re dreaming of a colorful travel experience
– Annual World Flower Art Contest, where the world’s most extraordinary floral artists compete annually
– Bruce Munro Field of Light at Sensorio: not all flower fields look alike

Musical Offerings

– Iceage, “Under the Sun,” featuring an Azumo Makoto floral installation
– Post Malone and Swae Lee, “Sunflower
– Tift Merritt, “Bramble Rose

Film Recommendation

Big Fish (2003). Directed by Tim Burton, 125 min., PG-13
The tale of Edward and William Bloom, whose strained relationship is caused by the father’s life-long penchant for telling what the son believes are fantastical, untrue stories about growing up.

Art, Accessibility, and Autism

Blawesome is a Chapel Hill—based flower farm and design studio that offers beautiful, locally grown, organic arrangements. The farm is owned and co-operated by a young man living with autism. When you buy flowers there, you are taking part in a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of both flowers and humanity.

Slow-Art Appreciation, Art in Bloom Editions

During these special 90-minute Art in Bloom editions on June 3 and June 10, you will be guided through an intentional observation of one of this year’s floral design and artwork pairings. For ages 16 and up.

Live from the Studio

Join us for Modern Florals in Watercolor, a virtual demonstration by Amy Richards on June 4 at noon. Richards creates whimsical florals using basic watercolor techniques. Participants are welcome to watch or follow along with the artist.


May 21, 2021


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