FITCHBURG – The Fitchburg Art Museum has hosted Art in Bloom every spring for 22 years, and although this year’s in-person event has been canceled due to the health and safety of guests, volunteers and museum staff, the online floral challenge that was created was a great success.
This popular event invites local floral designers, garden clubs and members of the community to perform art in the galleries of the Fitchburg Art Museum with flower arrangements.
“We are delighted to say that Art in Bloom: An Online Floral Challenge has been a huge success,” said Vanessa De Zorzi, Museum Marketing Manager. “It was truly a community event and a FAM team effort. We received a large number of creative responses covering a wide variety of media ranging from flower arrangements and culinary arts, photography, digital drawing, found object sculpture, and more.
The staff at the Fitchburg Art Museum had a blast creating and putting together Art in Bloom: An Online Floral Challenge.
“I thought why not make Art in Bloom something that people can participate in from their homes,” said Jessie Olson, the museum’s membership and events manager. “People can have flowers blooming in their garden. Or if not, we have encouraged people to make flower materials that they can find in their homes.
“We chose categories that represented the variety of interpretations and materials, which would celebrate not only the imagination and creativity, but also the enjoyment of the process,” said Olson.
The winners of the floral challenge were selected by community jurors, including Tamar Russell Brown of Sitka Creations, David Ginisi of NC Mass. Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Clarke, local artist and McKay Arts Academy teacher, and Julie K. Gray, artist featured in the Fitchburg Art Museum Exhibition After Spiritualism: Loss and Transcendence in Contemporary Art.
“It’s important to see how we can still bring art into people’s lives, even when they can’t walk through our galleries,” said Olson. “The museum’s mission is to be a catalyst for creativity, learning and community. This was an opportunity for our community not only to learn more about the art in our collection, but also to demonstrate their own creativity in response to it.
Art in Bloom takes place during the month of April at the museum and is in partnership with the Laurelwood Garden Club and is the museum’s busiest weekend of the year, a time when families and friends spend a day at the Museum.
“Art in Bloom is our most popular event of the year,” added Olson. “We wanted our audience to continue to enjoy the idea of art and flowers, even if it was from afar. “
Several performers expressed their satisfaction that they could still enjoy this event, but also that the chance to make art at home gave them something positive and colorful to think about.
“They had fun,” Olson said. “And that’s the most important thing for me – that people think about museums and have fun together.”
The Fitchburg Art Museum is grateful for your support and looks forward to welcoming the community back to its galleries and public spaces. Even in these uncertain times, their mission is to inspire the miracle of art, she said.
The online event closed with a celebratory video of the champagne reception.
“Museum staff, docents and community members joined in a special conversation about this year’s art in bloom,” said De Zorzi. “We discussed how we organized the event, what inspired us, what we enjoyed the most and announced the winners of the challenge.
The video premiered on May 15 and is now live on the Fitchburg Art Museum website for everyone to enjoy.
“The world is changing. I mourn the loss of some things that will never be the same again, but I’m excited about the challenge of connecting with our audience and our members in new ways ~ in some ways – it’s more interactive and more inventive, “said Olson.” By nature, art is a response to the world in which it is created. So it stands to reason that art museums also respond to the world and the community and what they’re going through right now. I love that this makes us not only relevant, but also an antidote to some of the more difficult parts of our present. “
Art in Bloom winners include:
• Most Creative Container: Maxwell Zaleski’s interpretation of “Thurston” by Douglas Kornfeld, 2015
• Best use of nature: interpretation by Sue Cunio Salem of “Waiting for a Bite” by Winslow Homer, 1874
• Best Composition: Performance by Cynthia Robinson of “Waiting for a Bite” by Winslow Homer, 1874
• The most illusionist: Maxwell Zaleski’s interpretation of “To Be” by Anne Lilly, 2016
• Punniest: Jane Fulton Suri’s interpretation of “Sunflowers at Sunrise” by Scott Prior, 2015
• Best Use of Lost and Found: Victoria Brier’s interpretation of “Postmortem: Margaret” by Julie K. Gray, 2019
• Most inventive materials: Julie Palioca’s interpretation of “Serpent 1” by Jo Sandman, 2012-2014
• Best Use of Color: Carolyn Quirk’s interpretation of “Bough House / Bauhaus” by Maria Molteni, 2019-2020
The community can be inspired by viewing the artwork of Art in Bloom. The full gallery of creative submissions can be viewed on Flickr, as well as the gallery of category winners.
Also explore artwork from the Material Girls Quilt Guild community groups and McKay Arts Academy students inspired by the Art in Bloom event and the spirit of spring.
For more information, please email Jessie Olson, Membership and Events Manager, at [email protected] and be sure to visit their website at www.fitchburgartmuseum.org