Art in Bloom

Botanical festival returns after being virtual for two years


Most residents in the STL area have visited the Saint Louis Art Museum, but not everyone knows about the annual event called Art in Bloom. Every year, a number of local florists are selected to participate in a special exhibit that spans an entire weekend in spring. Florists are given a randomly selected art piece and are then tasked with creating an arrangement based on the piece. These pieces can include paintings, pottery, statues, weapons, clothes and anything else in the museum. Pieces were entered into competition to be judged and ranked.

The festival took place this past weekend from Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5. During public hours, guests could wander around the museum, enjoying the usual exhibits as well as the floral arrangements scattered throughout the museum. The floral pieces were placed directly beside their original inspiration, which allowed guests to take in the two together. This year was the first time in two years that the festival took place in person, as it has been virtual due to COVID restrictions.

Besides the floral exhibits throughout the museum, the weekend also featured events. These events included children’s crafts, demonstrations and a preview party. The event also featured members only hours from 8-10 a.m. in which museum members would beat the crowds and get an exclusive look at the arrangements. 

There are three categories in which the pieces were ranked: Judges’ Choice, Staff Choice, and People’s Choice. A select panel of judges critiqued and judged the pieces, selecting the most thoughtful arrangements based on the difficulty, skill and interpretation of the original inspiration. 


Below are the Judges Choice winners.

Best in Show: Carly Meyer and Jessica Douglass (Flowers and Weeds) – Andy Goldsworthy, Stone Sea 

2nd Place: Kira Mulvany, Cynthia Ryan, Carly Bohmer (Roses & Mint Florals) – David Drake, Jar 

3rd Place: Gretchen Bennett (Tipsy Tulip) – Asante artist, Man’s Wrapper (Kente) 

Honorable Mention: Zachary Bair (Grimm & Gorly Florist), Elizabeth Catlett, Seated Woman 


Staff Choice winners were selected by the votes of all the staff in the museum. The Staff Choice winners are listed below.


Best in Show: Rich West (RW Designs) – Severin Roesen, Still Life with a Basket of Fruit 

2nd Place: Darien Burress (Walter Knoll Florist) – Gerhard Richter, December

3rd Place: Sydney Rogers (Bloomin’ Buckets) – Max Beckmann, Acrobats 



Honorable Mention: Kira Mulvany, Cynthia Ryan, Carly Bohmer (Roses & Mint Florals) – David Drake, Jar 


Finally, People’s Choice winners are chosen based on guests’ votes, which are tallied at the end of the weekend. 


Best in Show: Darien Burress (Walter Knoll Florist) – Gerhard Richter, December 

2nd Place: Nick Decker (Ken Miesner’s Flower Shoppe) – Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser Eames, Hang-It-All 



This year featured some truly fantastic artists and absolutely blew the public away. It’s wonderful to see festivals and events like this, which have been a tradition in St. Louis for so long, coming back as the threat of COVID-19 diminishes. If you missed this wonderful botanical festival this year, be sure to check out Art in Bloom at the St. Louis Art Museum next spring.