Bouquets to Art at the de Young and The Spring Art Tour


A couple of my favorite design-based happenings hit town this week. Both feature art and involve two things I’m crazy about: flowers and fine homes.

Bouquets to Art launched its almost week-long stay at the de Young museum with a gala last night. Although I missed the party for the first time in memory, I assure you I will be there at least once before the event is over. It involves top regional floral designers using blossoms, foliage and props to interpret artwork in the museum’s collection. Some of the arrangements are quite literal in their recreations, others are thought-provoking in their vision and there are always a few that are just plain head-scratchers, but each one challenges you to look at paintings and sculpture you’ve seen many times with fresh eyes. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say I volunteered for this happening for several years. But although I’ve seen it as an observer and as a behind-the-scenes worker, I never tire of this event–or of the intoxicating smell of flowers that hits you full force when you enter the museum during BTA week. If you really geek out over floral design, don’t miss the lectures and demonstrations hosted by experts from around the world. It’s the equivalent of a  Justin Bieber concert for the ladies-who-lunch set, and the all-star pros never fail to inspire.

The second event is called Private Collections: the Spring Art Tour and, in my humble opinion, it’s the best idea for a fundraiser ever devised (proceeds benefit Enterprise for High School Students). On Thursday, April 22, ticketholders get to go on a tour of one of 10 art collections in a private home led by the owner. Unless you know some of these luminary folks, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the works up close while listening to the collector describe the art and how they came to own it. In addition to seeing the art, you also get to see the house, which is always a bonus for designophiles. Tickets go fast, and you aren’t guaranteed your top pick, but with a roster like  Sabrina Buell’s photography and works on paper, Trish Bransten’s eclectic contemporary works or Jeff Dauber’s avant-garde collection, how can you go wrong? A limited number of tickets are available, so buy today.

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