Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bouquets to Art 2009 – Wilsey Court

As we entered the De Young Museum from the underground garage, we were greeted by these gorgeous parrot tulips, giving us a hint of what was to come in this year’s Bouquets to Art exhibit. 


The grand centerpiece of Wilsey Court is a magnificent arrangement called “Elemental” by Waterlily Pond Studio. A copper sign nearby has the artists description:

Elemental, by Waterlily Pond Studio

Natasha Lisitsa, Daniel Schultz,Carla D’Agostino

Materials Used:

500 blossoming branches of Forsythia

30 Manzanita trees

200 trunks of Curly Willow

500 stems of Anthuriums

100 feet of copper tubing, inspired by the De Young architecture

Size: Diameter – 20 ft. Height – 15 ft. Weight – 800 lbs.

Dedicated to the Grand Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Bouquets to Art.

Suspended within the austere, angular space of the Wilsey Court, a vibrant infusion of color and dynamic form initiates a celebration of life and all things Elemental. A radiant central composition of yellow forsythia and red Manzanita branches alludes to the sun and earth, the combined vital energy common to us all. Orbiting this form is an ascending spiral, which presents allusions to the building blocks of nature: the earth orbiting the sun, the atom, DNA, and to the continuous path of life along which we travel.

Not only is the piece breathtaking, but it is a feat of structural engineering.

When my son saw this photo he said it looked like fire, which I believe is precisely what the artists had in mind. I thought it looked like dendrites of the central nervous system (my inner geek rearing her head again…)


Watch this video clip to see how the Waterlily team installed this 800 pound work of art:


Also in the Wilsey Court: Patricia Gibbons Floral Design of El Cerrito used all white materials for a stunning entry :

The row of topiaries in the lobby created quite a buzz. We studied them from afar,


and up close,


And even underneath. 

This whimsical structure is a nice homage to the copper exoskeleton of the De Young Museum:


I thought the orange ranunculus blossoms looked great in front of the green tree ferns.


My very talented ikebana instructor, Yoshiko Williams, made this arrangement:



The spirit of these two teapots were perfectly captured by Joan McLellan Taylor. The medallion on the signage designates that she has been an exhibitor at Bouquets to Arts for twenty years.


I especially like the newspaper roses and toy cow.

Even the ladies' room had a row of tulips in geometric vases:


If you look closely, you will see a tiny occupant, perfectly color coordinated of course.

This concludes the lobby portion of your tour. Next time we will finally enter the galleries. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bouquets to Art 2009 - Gala Night

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Stephanie asked me if I was going to the Bouquets to Art gala night at the De Young Museum. I told her I was not because I was already planning to go with some friends on Thursday. When I told my family about Stephanie’s call, they all encouraged me to go anyway. “You love this event; you should just go” was the chorus. My husband was going to be out of town; in reality, I think the kids looked forward to an evening without their parents. I’m thrilled I went because it turned out to be a very fun evening.  

Wilsey Court was washed with the orange glow of the multitude of up lights lining all the walls. Elegantly-dressed flower and art lovers enjoyed the open bar and the sushi as it was being prepared by Dan McCall’s capable catering staff.


The tent next to the café was decorated with unabashed glitz and glam, complete with disco balls and ostrich feathers. 

The service was impeccable and the food was top drawer. There was a myriad of main course choices, including coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, and a vegetarian option.

Loads of yummy side dishes: 

The café was filled with a generous selection of desserts. If only I knew, I would have saved more room…


But enough about the food, there was another gala-only event. Bay Area students of floristry and fashion were invited to participate in a competition inspired by the Yves St. Laurent exhibition that is currently on display at the museum. There were many fantastic entries but unfortunately most of my photos did not turn out due to flash restriction and the limited available light. 

One of my floristry classmates made this beautiful dress of rose petals and crystals:


The winner of the competition used woven grasses, orchids, chrysanthemums, and galex leaves

As much fun as it was to see this competition and to enjoy the food and drink, I loved running into so many friends from the flower world. I chatted with my floristry teachers, fellow students and it was great fun to see so many friends from the San Francisco Flower Mart, all gussied up in their finest, sans fingerless gloves. Plus, many of the exhibiting floral artists attend the gala, so this was a great opportunity to talk to them and learn about their methods and approach.

All in all, I am so glad Stephanie called and my family encouraged me to go; it was a perfectly wonderful evening.

But hey, you say, what happened to the Bouquets to Art? Please stay tuned…

Note: Flash photography is prohibited in the museum; please forgive some of these woefully underexposed evening photos.

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