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The NCMA’s Art in Bloom festival boasts 42 floral displays

The 10th edition of the museum’s annual flower festival, Art in Bloom, is back Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17 with 42 intricate displays.

Artists putting their final touches on a floral display in a museum.

View decade arrangements like this lavish display by Maureen Hammond from Plant Lane Farm representing the 1930s, modeled after Mae West.

Photo by RALtoday

Are you ready for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s floral transformation? The 10th edition of the museum’s annual flower festival, Art in Bloom, Presented by PNC, reemerges Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17.

We had the chance to preview + chat with floral artists who were in the midst of finishing arrangements, inspired by the People’s Collection or by a decade ranging from the 1920s to the 2020s.

Contributing artists are expected to complete extensive research in order to interpret the artworks in their own way, the designer’s vision is then executed with florals and architectural elements.


Tonia Gebhart and Trader Joe’s team members work to finish this 1990s display, where hip-hop culture + graffiti collide.

Photo by RALtoday

With 42 installations, more than 50 designers have traveled across the state + beyond to put their floral artistry on display for this museum fundraising event.

This year, aunt + niece duo Alisa Tessier and Jenna Fowlkes from The Flower Shuttle were tasked with modeling their creation based on “Renaissance Interior with Banqueters.” As a 10 year veteran of Art in Bloom, one of Tessier’s favorite installments to date is her version of “The Scourging of Christ” because it was a challenge to work with such an emotional piece.

Both City Editor Cat + Allie were enamored by so many different arrangements, but we were particularly drawn to Chelsea Cordell Jones of Papabilities depiction of “Sunflower II” by Joan Mitchell. “I made a self portrait of the artist because in the middle of all of that color [Jones points to the canvas], I see a face in white,” Jones told RALtoday — this is the creative’s second year.

An artist standing beside a floral arrangement inside of a museum.

Chelsea Cordell Jones stands in front of their arrangement, which plays with florals as a portrait of the artist.

Photo by RALtoday

These are just two of our standout picks found in this special decade show — make sure to vote for your favorite arrangement after walking through the galleries.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get to snag a sold-out ticket; the museum is hosting a variety of floral-themed events. Plus, there are fun photo ops in front of the West Building.

Bonus: These flowers won’t go to waste. After the thousands of museum visitors have gone home, blooms with life are collected, transported, and donated to people living with sickness, terminal illness, poverty, and disability by The Flower Shuttle of Raleigh.

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