By Jessica Klarp
The 13th annual Art In Bloom at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) will take place Thursday, June 13, through Saturday, June 15, and will include two gallery shows, a gala and a local garden tour.
Regionally, BMCA was one of the first organizations to adopt this popular fundraising event. It has grown in popularity each year due to the magnificence of the art and floral designs on display, the quality of the Gala and the beauty and interest of the garden tour.
“Our first Art in Bloom was over the top with a steep learning curve,” says outgoing BMCA executive director Gale Jackson. “But over the years we have honed Art in Bloom to the best of the best, and the event has evolved to the regional gem it is now.”
BMCA’s unique approach to the event begins and ends with art. In mid-May, the Upper Gallery fills with art on loan from regional galleries including Bender Gallery, Blue Spiral 1, The Haen Gallery and Seven Sisters Craft Gallery. The pieces have been curated specifically for Art in Bloom. Twenty talented floral designers are assigned a specific work of art to inspire a flower arrangement that may take weeks to design, but only one day to create. The floral designers represent Western and Ikebana arranging styles and are some of the most talented designers in the region.
On Thursday at 6 p.m., the event kicks into high gear with a Gala Preview Party that gives ticket holders a first look at the newly created floral arrangements and celebrates the designers. Guests socialize while admiring the floral arrangements and enjoying a buffet of local delicacies, wine and beer, sweets and ice cream. Celtic harpist Sue Richards will add to the ambience in the gallery. This year’s honorary chair will be Dawn Wilson who lives life to the fullest and graciously contributes to the health, sustainability and culture of Black Mountain.
On Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests have the option to view the floral designs only or combine the gallery show with a local Garden Tour over the course of both days. Five local gardens have been selected for this tour, which requires guests to drive to each separate location. Maps are provided when tickets are purchased at BMCA on the day of the tour. At the gardens, guests will witness plein air, or open air, painters translating nature to canvas. Garden Tour tickets include discounts to five local restaurants. Following Art in Bloom weekend, the work of the plein air painters from the Garden Tour will be installed and on display in the Upper Gallery Wednesday, June 19, through July 19, an exhibit free and open to the public on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Art in Bloom takes months of planning and the cooperation and generosity of the community. Hundreds of volunteers, dozens of restaurants, galleries, artists, sponsors and committee members all work to make this event one of BMCA’s most vibrant fundraisers. All proceeds go to sustain BMCA, which offers 30 classes a week, summer camps, free gallery shows, a clay studio, a community theatre, storytelling events, concerts and much more throughout the year.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street. Tickets to the Gala Preview are $50; the Garden Tour, $20; or gallery only, $5. Viewing the plein air paintings in the Upper Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828.669.0930 or visit BlackMountainArts.org.