Bouquets to Art 2017 — Seduced by Those Quirky, Charming Boxed Bouquets

Bouquets to Art 2917. San Francisco. Samanth Williams with Clara McInerney, Dimitri Tretiakoff created a window niche design commenting on the Golden Gate Park landscape outdoors. Photo by Barbara Newhall

For the Bouquets to Art 2017 show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Samantha Williams, along with Clara McInerney and Dimitri Tretiakoff, created a window niche design commenting on the Golden Gate Park landscape outdoors. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s that time of year again. It’s spring — in California anyway. Daffodils and tulips are poking their heads up around the San Francisco Bay Area. And flower lovers have once again flocked to the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to see what local floral designers are up to these days.

Bouquets to Art 2017. Floral design by Michael Daigian Designs, Michael Daigian, with Jennifer Lato, AIFD, San Francisco, commenting on "Wall of Light Horizon, 2005, by Sean Scully. Bouquets to Art exhibition, DeYoung Museum, 2017. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Michael Daigian, with Jennifer Lato, was inspired by Sean Scully’s “Wall of Light Horizon, 2005, for Bouquets to Art 2017. Dramatic boxed floral designs like this one were popular this year. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The occasion was the annual Bouquets to Art show at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s de Young. Dozens of local designers are invited to participate in the event each year by riffing on one of the de Young’s works of  art using flowers, sticks, bulbs and seed pods. And this year, some of them seemed to be hell-bent on  mastering the art of the two-dimensional floral arrangement.

For the De Young Museum's Bouquets to Art show, a flat floral design by Poppy's Petalworks, San Francisco. Painting "Tulip Culture," by George Hitchcock. Photo by Barbara Newhall.

This flat floral design by Poppy’s Petalworks of San Francisco spirals down to a clutch of still-green tulip buds. I think it’s the compactness of these boxed arrangements that enchants me. Photo by Barbara Newhall.

I took in the show toward its end this year, on a Saturday, and the bouquets, now nearly a week old, were holding up nicely. As always, my favorites were the arrangements that relied almost entirely on natural ingredients. Flat, boxed designs were legion. And they bowled me over with their quirky charm.

Bouquets to Art 2017. A flat flora arrantement, "Garden Party," by Amy Roman Vassar, San Francisco. A floral commen on Frank Stella's "Lettre sur les aveuglesII, 1974. At the DeYoung Museum Bouquets to Art exhibition, 2017. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Another way to do a flat, two-dimensional design — enclose petals in glass  or plastic: “Garden Party,” by Amy Roman Vassar, San Francisco, in response to Frank Stella’s — also very two-dimensional — “Lettre sur les aveugles II, 1974.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

"Totem," by Sharpstick Studo, Oakland, CA. In the DeYoung Museum's Wilsey Court for the Bouquets to Art 2017 exhibition. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“Totem,” by Sharpstick Studio, Oakland, dominated the deYoung Museum’s Wilsey Court for the Bouquets to Art 2017 exhibition. That’s a real tree hanging from the ceiling, complete with branches, roots and rings cut from the tree’s own trunk. Genius. Photo by Barbara Newhall

"Garden Party," by Amy Roman Vassar, San Francisco. A floral commen on Frank Stella's "Lettre sur les aveuglesII, 1974. At the de Young Museum Bouquets to Art 2017. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Photo by Barbara Newhall

More Bouquets to Art bouquets at “Leaves, Twigs and Seeds at the de Young: It’s Art, but Is It a Bouquet?”  Also, “The Down Side of Things Beautiful — From the Mighty Rose to the Humble Daisy.”

 

 

 

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