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Art in Bloom

Westmoreland Museum of American Art | Greensburg, PA

Art in Bloom is an event held by many museums across the United States in the springtime. This exhibit pairs original artworks with floral designs. It’s a great opportunity to not only expose art lovers to floral design but also flower enthusiasts to the world or art. 

This year the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA held an Art in Bloom exhibition after a “long hiatus” according to the museum’s website. Not only was I excited to have such an event held here in Western Pennsylvania, but I was honored to be selected as a floral design participant. 

It was a very last minute decision to apply. These days, with two little kiddos and a busy business, I don’t often look for “extra” things to do. Honestly, I’m in a season of saying no to a lot of work-related opportunities in order to be able to focus on my family. (And I am incredibly grateful to my awesome team who does a lot to keep The Blue Daisy Floral Designs running so we can all share the load and be present in our lives outside of work.) 


Nevertheless, I felt a strong call to do Art in Bloom. And boy am I thankful that I did! Befittingly, in a blind draw, I chose Ascension by Richard Bancroft Beaman. It was a challenging piece for me as I am typically drawn to bright bold colors and Ascension is very much the opposite. However, the title struck me. To choose this particular painting to represent in flowers as we near the end of Lent and move toward Easter- the Ascension, would be a humbling and reflective experience for certain.

Art in Bloom exhibit Ascension painting floral design concept sketch

As I worked out my design I pondered the meaning behind the painting and saw the deepness as well as the light. It called to mind that we all experience descent or darkness at some points in our lives. But those moments of darkness are what allow us to experience great light and growth. The dark and the light together are what make beauty. Furthermore, if we allow it, hope can grow out of the darkness. In nature, everything begins in darkness under the soil. When nurtured, it springs forth in beauty at just the right time. 

And so I sought to translate this into flowers. Choosing materials that often bloom in the spring. Coming out of the darkness of winter and bringing the hope and life of Spring. Easter. Ascension. 

Design Process

White parrot tulips, burgundy anemone  (their darkness IS their beauty), and Pieris japonica flowers were the primary examples. They mingle together in harmony to create a cohesive work, just like the colors and textures of Beaman’s painting. Curly willow and Kiwi branches created a somewhat hidden structure to hold the blooms, encircling the pot but then reaching upward, carrying ‘Quicksand’ rose blooms and therefore lightness in the design. Blue thistle intermingle evoking the colors of the painting but also the sometimes thorny or prickly parts of life. Throughout and draping in the design is Jasmine vine. Closed and budded now, but when it opens will have a heavenly scent of sweetness. 

Not only is Beaman’s Ascension an intricate work that spoke to me intimately, but I found it exhilarating to have the opportunity to translate those feelings into my passion, my medium, my art, of floral design. Flowers are often overlooked as an artistic medium. What a wonderful opportunity to stand alongside so many other incredibly talented floral artists and show the POWER OF FLOWERS in such a wonderful and public way. 

I would love to hear how you translate Beaman’s Ascension! Because, art is in the eye of the beholder. 

And I hope that everyone who has the opportunity can come to the Westmoreland Museum of Art and see all of the amazing work and talents of my fellow floral designers as well!

Stephanie Kirby owner of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs poses with her Art in Bloom design at Westmoreland Museum of American Art

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The Blue Daisy Floral Designs

412. 367. 5810  |  1105 ROCHESTER ROAD, STE 103, PITTSBURGH, PA 15237

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