The San Diego Museum of Art
April 28 – 30, 2017, last weekend event
Article by Cathy Breslaw
Art Alive is an entertaining and magical experience. Having just completed its 36th annual set of events, (April 28-30), it is certain that the thousands of people who attended will not forget their time spent at The San Diego Museum of Art. As an artist and writer, the museum is very familiar, as I’ve frequently attended exhibitions, yet as my first time attending Art Alive, I found it unique, fun and mesmerizing. The “buzz” and energy surrounding the museum was palpable, as throngs of people gathered both outside and inside the museum to experience the beauty and awe that living plants and flowers brought to the museum’s indoor spaces. The award winning floral designer Carlos Franco used 20,000 flowers to create FloraMorphic: A Sky of Colors by transforming both the outside entrance and inside two levels of the rotunda into a mesmerizing visual cacophony of color, and suspended organic forms covering ceilings, and corners of wall entrances with thousands of flowers in an array of types, sizes and colors. The scent of fresh flowers was everywhere. This year’s event had 95 southern California floral designers participating in a process of interpreting a selected artwork in the museum’s collection, using flowers and accessories to exhibit alongside each art piece. It was fascinating to see how each designer chose to illustrate what they saw and felt when viewing the selected artworks. There was a range of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from the museum’s collection including artists Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Corbet, George Braque, Henri Matisse, Renee Magritte, Goya, El Greco, Diego Rivera, Gustav Klimt, the Edwin Binney 3rd collection of Indian paintings, Rufino Tamayo, Raoul Dufy, Robert Henri, Thomas Hart Benton, Thomas Moran, Hans Hoffman, Ben Shahn, Frank Stella, Howard Hodgkin, Georgia O’Keefe, Roy Lichtenstein, Alice Neel, Deborah Butterfield, Richard Deacon and more. It is estimated that over 12,000 visitors attended throughout the weekend’s events including the Member’s Preview, Museum Store show, Bloom Bash, garden activities and related events. It is expected that this year’s Art Alive raised over a million dollars which is expected to support arts education, outreach, and special exhibitions.