It finally seems like the end of a long, long 16 months. While we still need to respect the pandemic and take sensible precautions – it’s time to celebrate! We made it!
It’s perfect timing for the return of one of my favorite San Diego events and the very first public event for us since early 2020. Art Alive 2021 starts today. If you aren’t familiar with it, local and national floral designers create their own floral interpretations of artworks from the San Diego Museum of Art. There will be more than 100 floral displays of art masterpieces, and a whole weekend of flower-filled activities and events as a Museum fundraiser. For me, it’s the perfect intersection of nature and art. Also the perfect celebration for this weekend. And it’s the 40th anniversary of the event!
We’re both Millennials: Art Alive and Good Earth Plant Company have grown up together, both starting within a couple of years of each other. I heard about Art Alive for a couple of years before I first attended in person. I applied and was approved to design for it the next year. This is nearly three decades ago when I was still selling both flowers and plants downtown. Now I can apply as a legacy designer, and I’m proud of this.
What I truly enjoy now is passing the baton to other talented designers for a fresh take. This is year two for our own in-house Lead Designer Rachel H. creating our Good Earth Plant Company entry. Rachel goes beyond my expectations for good design. She has really taken a liking to it, and her talent makes us look good. These are the same skills she puts to work every day for our clients.
The participants choose the artwork inspiring their designs on a first-come, first-served basis. This is the second time our entry depicts a sculpture. It is “Solar Bird” by the artist Joan Miró. It is on display outside the Museum in the Plaza de Panama Sculpture Garden.
Rachel describes her vision for the floral design inspired by this piece: “The use of simple lines and blocks of bright color heavily outlined in black, reminiscent of Joan Miró’s paintings. The paring down and geometrization of forms also represents Miró’s work.”
Rachel also put together an inspiration board using paintings. These drive the choice of materials. Originally they included red carnations, yellow mums, green trick dianthus, and blue delphinium. But the plant shortage thanks to the pandemic is real. Rachel ended up substituting Green Pole Moss (the same that we use in our moss walls) for the dianthus, Purple Larkspur for the delphinium, and Red Dahlias for the proteas – alongside some interesting hooped black irrigation tubing. Rachel is not afraid to use bold elements.
The design came together in our Good Earth Plant Company workshop the past few days. When you work with organic materials, you need to be flexible and adapt your construction to them, not the other way around. An important aspect – don’t make it so big it can’t get out through the door.
The finished piece then needs to be successfully transported and installed on Thursday. It fits within the rules (not something I have always followed) and is five feet tall and three feet wide – and three-dimensional as well.
Take a look – I am so impressed with Rachel’s execution, but not surprised since she shows off these skills in her everyday work.
Rachel’s finished piece on behalf of Good Earth Plant Company will be on display at the Museum’s Friday night “Color Feast,” a new full surround-sound, synesthetic outdoor dining experience. Why didn’t we always do this – it’s San Diego in June!
Art Alive 2021 also offers virtual festivities for you to participate from anywhere with a 360 virtual tour of the floral exhibition, a virtual silent auction, at-home workshops for all ages, and more. I will be there, and I can’t wait to find out what people think of her work. I also love seeing everyone else’s creativity.
You get your chance to see these works starting on Friday and continuing through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Museum. Members get in free, and all other visitors can buy a ticket for $25. But why not become a Museum member? Memberships start at $50, and you’ll get free admission. You can’t pass up that deal. Find membership information online here. NOTE: Tickets have a specific entry time – make sure you don’t miss your window.
I used to take my kids, Ted and Allie, to “Art Alive!” when they were in grade school. Both were in art classes. They weren’t too enthusiastic the first time – but it was a completely different story when we got to the museum. Suddenly their enthusiasm burst into view. My two kids started running between the pieces because each wanted to be first with his or her technical interpretation! To my amazement, a crowd started forming around these two whirlwinds and following them around to enjoy their commentary.
I encourage you to take your kids, or someone else’s kids, (with parental approval of course) when you attend “Art Alive.”
Over the years, as our Good Earth Plant Company team has gotten involved, the stakes keep going up. We work to top ourselves, expand our creativity, and impress the public attending “Art Alive” to view the pieces and support the San Diego Museum of Art. Enriching peoples’ lives with plants is our mission, and we hope our annual artistic interpretation enriches yours.