Art Will Bloom at San Diego Museum of Art’s “Art Alive”

By Wendy Lemlin

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Next weekend, from April 24-26, one of my favorite annual events is happening at the San Diego Museum of Art. 

During Art Alive, the Museum will become transformed into a fragrant vision of art combined with such natural materials as flowers, greenery, seeds, vines, and more, as more than 100 floral designers bring the Museum’s renowned Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual event, creating live floral displays inspired by the works of art.

This year, Art Alive will honor the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park, the home of the Museum. To celebrate this major milestone, René van Rems of René van Rems International will return for his seventh year as the Rotunda Designer. Informed by historic archives from 1915, van Rems will transform the Museum’s central Rotunda into a lush floral art experience reflective of the Victorian era in Europe and the early days in San Diego. His design will incorporate California-grown flowers such as white hydrangeas, trumpet lilies, carnations, flowering herbs, and more. An internationally known floral artist from Amsterdam, van Rems has been involved with Art Alive since its inception and last served as the Rotunda Designer in 2011.

art alive 2The exhibition will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26. General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations featuring:

  • Members’ Preview  Friday 7-10am  Museum members will be able to beat the crowds and be among the first viewers of the exhibit.
  • Bloom Bash  Friday, 7-10pm  This opening celebration, featuring and inspired by Modern Hieroglyphics of Chor Boogie’s eclectic artwork, will be a funky, graffiti-themed party. Guests will enjoy culinary creations from San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs, floral-infused Patron cocktails, live music, interactive entertainment, and an exclusive after-hours viewing of this year’s floral exhibition. Tickets : $200 for members and $250 for nonmembers.
  • Garden of Activities Saturday & Sunday, noon-4pm The family-friendly Garden of Activities features a Museum-wide flower hunt, a children’s reading area complete with nature-inspired stories, and a variety of floral-themed projects designed for children and families to enjoy together. Free with Art Alive General Admission
  • Floral Lecture  Saturday, 10am From Fabergé to Cartier, independent curator and Fabergé expert Timothy Adams will speak on the influence of flowers and nature on goldsmiths from the turn of the 20th century to present. Adams is Curatorial Consultant for the Decorative Arts department at the Bowers Museum, and Fabergé Historian for the Museum’s 1989 Fabergé: The Imperial Eggs exhibition. Tickets: $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers.
  • Floral Master Class   Sunday, 10am Celebrating Balboa Park’s Centennial, the 2015 Floral Master Class takes inspiration from the California garden-style arrangements in fashion at the time of the Park’s founding. Workshop attendees will create and take home an elegant arrangement pairing traditional European elements with a California twist. Designed for all levels of experience, this workshop is led by Sharon Mintz, 2007 Rotunda Designer, 15-year Art Alive legacy designer, and designer at San Diego’s Organic Elements. Tickets: $100 members, $125 for nonmembers, and include a continental breakfast.

As the San Diego Museum of Art’s largest annual fundraiser, Art Alive  provides critical art alive 3support for education, outreach programs and special exhibitions year-round. For more information or to make a donation in support of this San Diego tradition, call the Art Alive Hotline at 619-696-1999, or contact the Museum at Tickets are also available online

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