FLORISTS MOOKIE COHEN and Sara Winter create the floral installation in downtown Jerusalem What does a florist do with all their extra flowers when most weddings and events are canceled or drastically curtailed due to a pandemic? Where can musicians perform? A group of artists decided to answer these questions by brightening up and bringing life to a popular Jerusalem hotspot, gracing the piano at Zion Square in downtown Jerusalem with a floral installation as local musicians performed. The happening was the brainchild of Sara Winter of Sara Winter Floral Artistry & Event Design, Mookie Cohen of Pine & Clover Floral and Event Design and Yitzchok Meir Malek, a popular local musician who often performs under the name YM. Completing the team were painter Miriam Serkez, videographer Demid Istomin and photographer Tzipora Lifchitz.The five friends spent the late afternoon cheering up the busy downtown area as mask-clad passersby watched and even joined in. “We want to try to make people happy. It’s our surprise gift to Jerusalem,” Winter said as she and Cohen draped colorful blossoms on the piano in the middle of the square.Clad in white, the two spoke to In Jerusalem as they cut stems and arranged bouquets during their floral flash mob that took place on the evening of Tu Be’av, the biblical holiday of love.THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic has impacted the economy around the world – event planners and artists included. “Every business in every country is affected,” Winter said, “and we know how happy flowers make people.”Cohen said she and her fellow florist came together in challenging times. Not only is air travel diminished, but the number of participants at events has been limited. “A lot of events got canceled,” Cohen lamented. “Most of my clients are from overseas. But some are doing garden weddings with 20 people in the backyard.” Summer is usually their biggest season, with Tu Be’av being an ideal day for nuptials. Their usual schedule of bar and bat miztvahs and large public events has also been curtailed.Winter was born in the United States, while Cohen hails from Australia. Both live in the greater Jerusalem area and the flowers were grown in the Jerusalem Hills and Mateh Yehuda region and donated for the project.“Being a florist is an expression of art,” Winter explained. “There is nothing more beautiful than a flower. We are privileged to make these sculptures with natural elements created by God. It’s spiritual work – a godly gift, and we put our own expression in it. Every event is different, every client has a different taste and vision, so you’re always starting from scratch,” she said.Cohen said she was impressed with the variety and scale of flowers in the relatively small Jewish state. “I see new flowers all the time. The peony flower started two years ago during the winter and spring. Israel sells a lot of flowers to Holland. It’s incredible for this small country,” she stated.Cohen also lamented what she called “floral waste” during the coronavirus […]