It was months ago when the Dallas Museum of Art League’s Art in Bloom on Monday, March 2, was a flourishing event just days before the COVID-19 shut down most fundraising activities. Held in the DMA, more than 300 guests like Jan Grant, Peggy Shuman, Eleanor Casey, Monica Cooley, Erin Taylor, Emily Maduro, Beverly Freeman, Tara Freeman, Susan Fisk, Sandy Secor, Barbara Harris, Barbara Daseke, Becky Foster and Elizabeth Williams gathered to hear the charming British flora designer Shane Connolly share tips and tales of floral arrangements followed by a luncheon in the Hamon Atrium. Here’s a report from the field:
Event Chair Therese Rourk, Honorary Chair Amy Warren and DMA League President Dyann Skelton were joined by 330 guests for 21st annual Art in Bloom on Monday, March 2. Proceeds support the Dallas Museum of Art’s education programs, as well as the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.
Art in Bloom: A Royal Affair began with a reception in the Museum corridor. Guests sipped champagne as they mingled and bid online for unique silent auction items or got a sneak peek at the live auction items up for bid during the luncheon.
At the appointed time, patrons were directed to the Horchow Auditorium for the featured floral presentation with internationally renowned designer Shane Connolly. Before welcoming Connolly to the stage, Dyann welcomed attendees to the League’s 21st annual fundraiser and thanked them for their support. She then introduced Therese who echoed her gratitude to all including Amy and the many committee members, sponsors and supporters who had helped make the day possible. Then Speaker Chair and Floral Chair Empress Gilbert took the stage with her son Micah Gilbert to introduce Shane.
Connolly, known for his timeless artisan designs featuring seasonal, sustainable and often still growing flowers and greenery, went on to thoroughly entertain the crowd with not only his beautiful arrangements and design tips and tricks, but also his good-natured British sense of humor. Creating a variety of designs in vessels from small bud vases to a large urn, he showcased beautiful locally sourced flowers, greenery and tree branches, while fielding questions from the audience as he went along. Holding a Royal Warrant of Appointment for both HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, Connolly was asked by an audience member what it was like to work with the Royal family in which he replied, “they are the loveliest people and they truly love nature.”
As the program concluded, patrons gathered in the Hamon Atrium for the seated luncheon with tables dressed in fuchsia linens accented with teal napkins and stunning pink floral centerpieces surrounded by a variety of minerals, such as quartz and rock crystal, available for purchase.
Guests enjoyed a first course of mixed greens with goat cheese, candied walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette followed by a second course of spinach and mushroom stuffed chicken served with roast potatoes an steamed broccolini. As dessert of chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce and whipped cream was served, Heritage Auctions auctioneer Sophie Duncan got the bidding going on the fabulous auction packages.
As the luncheon came to an end, Connolly’s books “A Year in Flowers,” and “Discovering the Meaning of Flowers” were available for purchase and signing.
As well, attendees were the first to view this year’s Floral Exhibition, which featured a unique display of floral arrangements created by 10 local designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection on view in the Museum’s Level 4 Arts of the Americas Galleries. Participating designers were: Avant Garden; Birch Collective; Blumengarten; Cebolla Fine Flowers; David Kimmel Design; Fiore X 7 Flower Bar; Grey Gardens Florists; Metka Floral Design; Sage Blooms and The T Shop.
For more information about Art In Bloom, visit our webpage at www.dmaartinbloom.org.
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky