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The San Diego Museum of Art introduces re-imagined Art Alive

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The San Diego Museum of Art’s 40th Annual Art Alive exhibition will kick off the summer with a weekend of newly imagined festive floral events.

The celebration includes nearly 100 floral designers’ exquisite interpretations of famous works of art from the museum, with the sights, scents, and sounds of the floral exhibition spilling onto the Balboa Park Plaza de Panama for a variety of outdoor activities. On view June 18-20, this highly anticipated San Diego tradition is the museum’s signature fundraiser in support of education, outreach programs and special exhibitions.

This year, Bloom Bash, the exclusive opening party, takes a hiatus for the new Color Feast, an intimate but full surround-sound, synesthetic outdoor dining experience that kicks off the weekend celebrations. Also new this year is the Open Air Floral Affair, a floral fusion of activities, design demonstrations, the popular Garden of Activities, delicious treats from San Diego’s top restaurants and more, taking place in the Plaza de Panama throughout the three-day event.

Balboa Park Plaza de Panama
Balboa Park Plaza de Panama

Art Alive 2021 will also offer more virtual festivities, including a 360-degree virtual tour of the floral exhibition, a virtual silent auction, at-home workshops for all ages and more.

“We’re thrilled to once again host our annual Art Alive weekend, a celebratory exhibition that helps support essential public programs, education, community outreach, and special exhibitions for the museum,” says Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director at The San Diego Museum of Art. “Two new exhibitions will also open Art Alive weekend. These new exhibitions bring iconic masterpieces of European art from the Bemberg Collection and beautiful drawings by Ana de Alvear, a contemporary Spanish artist, to the U.S. for the first time, making this year especially remarkable.”

Italo Scanga

This year, Beth O’Reilly AIDF, TMF, an internationally recognized floral artist, has been selected as the Rotunda Designer. O’Reilly will transform the museum’s rotunda into “Botanical Graffiti” — a contemporary floral installation so vivid it sits on the edge of reality. Using bright colors, bold shapes, and color blocking with both fresh and preserved materials, “Botanical Graffiti” takes viewers on an immersive floral journey intended to celebrate the beauty of healing during a time of global crisis. O’Reilly is a Texas Certified Master Florist and an accredited member of The American Institute of Floral Designers, one of the most prestigious design organizations in the world. Through her installations, O’Reilly encourages others to connect to nature, the planet and each other. She also recently competed on Full Bloom, an HBO Max original series where top florists from around the country create larger-than-life floral installations.

“The Rose Chandelier,” Floral Art

The Art Alive 2021 floral exhibition will be open from 10am to 7pm on Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19, and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, June 20. General admission is free for members, $25 for non-members ($40 to include Open Air Floral Affair), $5 for youth (ages 7 to 17), and free for children age 6 and under. To ensure social distancing guidelines are being met, a timed entry process is required for all visitors. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during museum hours, Art Alive 2021 offers four full days of experiences, activities and celebrations, including:

Art Alive 2021 Premiere Dinner
Thursday, June 17: 6pm–11pm
An intimate black-tie event, the Premiere Dinner will take place under the stars, among lush florals and art installations in the museum’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden.

Member’s Preview
Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19: 8am–10am
Early access to the exhibition for museum members.

Color Feast
Friday, June 18: 7-10pm
$400 for members and $500 for non-members
New this year, Color Feast is a full spectrum, multi-course dining experience under the stars in the museum’s Sculpture Garden. Each guest will be treated to a five-course dinner with themed cocktail and wine pairings for each course. Captivating entertainment, glitzy giveaways and other mysterious surprises accompany the experience. The price includes the ticket for the 6pm slot of the Art Aliveexhibition so Color Feast guests can enjoy the floral interpretations and Floral Affair prior to dinner.

Open Air Floral Affair
Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19: 10am-8pm
Sunday, June 20: 10am-6pm
Free for members and children 17 and under; $40 for non-members (includes Art Alive floral exhibition)
A floral infusion of activities, design demonstrations, unique gifts, flourishing creativity and delicious delights from San Diego’s top restaurants. The outdoor celebration offers floral fun and excitement for all ages.

Garden of Activities
Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20: 12pm-4pm
Free after Art Alive admission
Great for families, the Garden of Activities features a variety of floral-themed art projects designed for children and families to enjoy together.
Art Alive 2021 will also feature virtual packages this year for those looking to enjoy the floral experience from home.

Image Credits Aerial images: Photography by Baumann Photography