MAD To Present Flower Craft, exhibition dedicated to the ephemeral art of floral design
The Museum of Arts and Design will present Flower Craft, showcasing the creative visions of six botanical artists working at the forefront of contemporary floral design. Inspired by the transience of nature and its inimitable palettes, the artists approach all stages of the life cycle of plants, from seed to germination and decomposition, to interpret nature in a sculptural form.
“By design, floral art is meant to be more than pleasing to the eye,” said Elissa Auther, Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator William and Mildred Lasdon. “As artists push the boundaries of materials and creative expression, they also engage with a variety of aesthetic traditions, from modern European still life painting to the 18th century picturesque to the hyperreality of the digital realm of the 21st century.-all of which will be explored in the exhibition.”
Each week a new botanical artist will be featured in the Flower Craft Gallery. The artists are:
Kristin Alpaugh is the founder of Los Angeles-based FLWR PSTL, a studio whose high-profile clients include Katy Perry, SZA and Doja Cat, as well as major cosmetics and fashion brands. Alpaugh combines plants with various media to tell unique and compelling stories. She was recently featured on HBOMax’s flower pageant series, Full Bloom.
Doan Ly, founder of ap bio, is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice integrates the fields of floral design, photography and video. Ly’s work has been published in Vogue Spain, China and Italy; The New Yorker; Atlantic; and Kinfolk among others. Its commercial clients include Moschino, Victoria’s Secret, Carolina Herrera, Zara and many more. Born in Vietnam, Ly immigrated to the United States at the age of eight and grew up in Minnesota.
Lutfi Janania is a Honduran botanical artist raised in a biological reserve between the rainforest and the mountains of San Pedro Sula. His sculptures, composed of exquisite dry and hydrated natural materials, are surreal, unrealized portraits of the artist’s imaginary worlds. Janania won the second season of HBOMax’s Full Bloom and her studio, ROSALILA, is located in Brooklyn, New York.
Noritaka Noda is the President of the Ikenobo Ikebana NYC Chapter, as well as the first and only American Special Teacher recognized by Ikenobo Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. As an Ikebana teacher, he leads demonstrations and teaches at the Nippon Club. Noda is known for his unusual arrangements, which combine traditional and modern materials on different scales. Its clients include US and Japanese corporations, restaurants, retailers and museums.
Emily Thompson is the founder of Emily Thompson Flowers in New York. Born in Vermont, Thompson earned a master’s degree in sculpture from UCLA. Inspired by 18th century theory of the Picturesque, she has designed dramatic naturalistic arrangements and installations for the Obama White House, MoMA’s Modern Restaurant, Bergdorf Goodman, T Magazine, Jason Wu, and other notable clients.
Manu Torres is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. His floral arrangements often involve a dialogue between the artificial and the natural; incorporating paper, fabric, paint and feathers to mimic and exaggerate natural beauty in hyperrealistic ways. His work has been featured in Elle Decor magazine and he was also named by Domino magazine as one of the top new floral designers to watch. Her recent solo exhibition at the Russo Lee Gallery was chosen by an ArtForum reviewer.
Alongside the ever-changing floral installations that are at the heart of Flower Craft, there will be a curated selection of vessels in a range of mediums, complementing the focus on flower arrangement craftsmanship and design. Artists in this section of the exhibition include Emily Mullins and Jolie Ngo, as well as a video by Cauleen Smith. Titled Flowers for Virtually Nobody, it was filmed during the pandemic and captures Smith creating an arrangement that grows ever larger over the life of the piece in commemoration of those lost to Covid-19. The exhibition also coincides with MAD’s very first “bee residence”, newly installed on the roof of the museum. Two hives are now home to “Queen Aileen”, named after the industrious founder of MAD, Aileen Osborn Webb, and “Queen Toshiko Takaezu”, named after the famous ceramic artist and ardent supporter of MAD. The queens are assisted by a host of drones to keep them warm, pollinate and make honey.
CLASSES, ARTISTS AND HOURS OF THE CRAFT FLOWER STUDIO
For the duration of the exhibition, the Flower Craft Gallery will function as a classroom for MAD’s Flower Craft workshop taught by Flower Craft artists, as well as a variety of cross-generational workshops. Surrounded by the extraordinary exhibition of innovative floral design, audiences of all ages and skill levels will be able to explore floral creativity with an inspiring collective of artists and designers.
Flower Craft Workshop: Kristin Alpaugh
Tuesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m.
The Los Angeles-based botanical artist and contestant on the hit HBOMax series Full Bloom leads a floral design workshop inspired by the colorful fantasy world of her studio FLWR PSTL.
Flower Craft Workshop: Noritaka Noda
Tuesday, May 24, 6-8 p.m.
Renowned ikebana specialist Noritaka Noda leads an immersion workshop in ikenobo ikebana, an ancient artistic tradition that Noda has modernized.
Floral craft workshop: Lufti Janania
Tuesday, May 31, 6-8 p.m.
Winner of the second season of the hit HBOMax series Full Bloom, botanical artist Janania runs a floral design studio inspired by the sensual aesthetic of her creative studio ROSALILA.
Flower craft workshop: Manu Torres
Tuesday, June 14, 6-8 p.m.
Botanical artist Manu Torres leads a workshop in his avant-garde approach to floral design inspired by his rock star rococo aesthetic.
Floral Clothing with Debra Rapoport
Thursday, May 26, 6-8 p.m.
Multidisciplinary artist Debra Rapoport leads a workshop building floral headpieces, fascinators and ornaments using recycled materials, paint and glue.
Family Workshop: Silk Flowers
Sunday, June 5, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Learn how to turn silk flowers into wearable statement pieces with the nonprofit BloomAgainBklyn community and guest floral designers.
Floral Charms with Lē Matthew x Degrade
Saturday June 11, 2-4 p.m.
Eco-creative Lē Matthew, founder of Degrade, the experimental slow fashion label promoting biodegradable materials and textile explorations, will lead a workshop using petals, leaves and other organic waste from Flower Craft to create charms personal florals.
Give back with flowers
Tuesday, June 7, 2-4 p.m.
Flowers from Flower Craft will be repurposed into individual arrangements to distribute to the city’s most vulnerable during this workshop in the gallery with BloomAgainBklyn, the community-based nonprofit.
Contemporary trends in floral design
Tuesday, June 21, 7-8 p.m.
A conversation and demonstration with Flower Craft artist Emily Thompson and Nancy Hass, general writer for T: The New York Times Style Magazine. The two will discuss contemporary trends in floral design with a focus on philosophical influences on Thompson’s botanical installations. Afterwards, Thompson will demonstrate how she constructs her evocative arrangements.
Black and White Flowers with Sarah Bedford
Tuesday, June 14, 12-2 p.m.
Join botanical artist Sarah Bedford, co-curator of Flower Craft and creative director of Bedford & Company, for an afternoon painting workshop using a flower arrangement of your own design. Participants will paint their still lifes with India ink and brush on watercolor paper.
The Museum’s free art-making and discussion workshop will be held select Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. in the Flower Craft Gallery.
A Flower Power Pass can be purchased online and will provide discounted entry to the museum for $45 (a $108 value) for the duration of the exhibition for visitors to experience Flower Craft in its entirety. MAD’s store will feature fresh bouquets from famed New York florists Anthony Brownie, Kat Flower, Petal and Julia Testa, as well as floral-inspired handmade products from a global roster of artists.
Flower Craft will be featured prominently on the Museum’s new mobile guide on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app created by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The app platform is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ long-standing commitment to supporting digital innovation in the arts. On the app, visitors will be able to listen to the artists in the exhibition describe their process, watch video of the installations as they are created on site, and sign up for classes and workshops.
Flower Craft is curated by Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Elissa Auther and Sarah Bedford, Founder and Creative Director of Bedford & Company.
Flower Craft is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary creators in all creative fields and showcases the work of artists, designers and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum was founded in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of manufacturing and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program draws on a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, and reveal the craftsmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our daily lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who influence the direction of cultural production and drive 21st century innovation, and fosters a participatory framework for visitors to have direct encounters with works of art and compelling designs. For more information, visit madmuseum.org.