In an “everything’s canceled” kind of year, one epic floral event carried on. Now in its fourth year, “Art in the Elements,” Michigan’s annual outdoor floral sculpture show, delighted Detroit-area visitors with large-scale installations. Open from Sept. 10-13, this year’s show featured 19 storybook and fairy-tale inspired installations created by more than 20 floral designers from eight states across the Midwest as well as Florida and Mississippi. Each installation had to be contained within a 20-foot-square space.
Ideal theme. Ideal location. We couldn’t have planned it better. Storybooks and fairy tales stick with us. Most of us remember reading with a loved one our favorite childhood story, fairy tale or manga.
This year floral artists and their themes were:
• Laura Parker, AIFD, CFD, CF, M.B.A.: Charlotte’s Web
• Art into Flowers, Rango
• Cathy Brunk, AIFD, CFD; Little Red Riding Hood
• Cher Daluga, The Secret Garden
• Laura Daluga, AIFD, CFD, and Elaine Mercouris; Dragon Ball Z
• Laura Daluga, AIFD, CFD, Spirited Away
• Rae Roberts-Griffi th, AIFD, CFD, ICPF; Aladdin
• Liz Stocker, AIFD, CFD, Enchanted Forest
• Jerome Raska, AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI, CAFA, CF, and Robbin
Yelverton, AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI, CF; Bedknobs and Broomsticks
• Debbie Strand, AIFD, CFD, ICPF; The Thunderbird
• Garrett Skupinski, CF; Mirror of Matsuyama
• Courtney Turner, AIFD, CFD, ICPF; Tangled: The Story
• Deb Schwarze, AIFD, CFD; Itsy Bitsy Spider
• Abbey Sexton, The Giving Tree
• Art Bone, CF, and Garden Fantasy on Main; Hansel and Gretel
• Emily Bianchette and Fioza Leigh, Snow White
• Pattie Wallander, AIFD, CFD, ICPF; Malefi cent
• David Thompson, Robin Hood
• Patricia Huggins, Mary Poppins
• Ginny Blade, welcome arrangement in the mansion
Through it all, we flourished. Attendance grew by 29 percent from our 2019 event! Given the pandemic and the many hurdles we faced, we expected those numbers to be flat or even to fall. While we were wrong about the numbers, we were right that people were itching for an event outing like this. This year’s “Art in the Elements” was exactly what we all needed. A breath of fresh air and a keen example of artists coming together to preserve (and promote) their community. Even in a pandemic.
We’ll be setting the dates and theme for our 2021 event soon. Interested designers, stay tuned!