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Shelia Durante, Dallas Museum of Art League president, and Sarah Jo Hardin, Art in Bloom 2017 chair

 The Dallas Museum of Art League announces that more than $125,000 was raised at Art in Bloom: Seasons of Love on Monday, March 21, 2017.  Symposium chairperson Sarah Jo Hardin, with honorary chairperson Jill Goldberg and Sheila Durante, the DMA League President, were joined by a sell-out crowd of over 350 guests at the eighteenth annual fundraiser, which supports the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

The celebration began on Saturday, March 25 with an evening reception in honor of Art in Bloom patrons co-chaired by Barbara Averitt, Marena Gault, and Sherwood Wagner.   Sponsors and host committee members arrived at Wagner’s lovely home, which had been transformed with flowers, including a floral-covered “DMA” inside the foyer entryway, a floral-shrouded staircase personally installed by Wagner, and stunning floral arrangements throughout.  As partygoers mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, pianist Tray Boswell and guitarist Dan Quinn provided entertainment.  Art in Bloom featured speaker René van Rems chatted with attendees as excitement was building for Monday’s symposium and luncheon.

On Monday, March 27, Art in Bloom began at 9:30 a.m. with a reception in the Hamon Atrium.  Highland Park High School’s Highlander Strings quartet played as guests bid on items in the silent auction and purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win one of four prizes including: a $1,000 gift certificate from Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, a pair of Roberto Coin earrings, a luxury overnight stay for two at the Hotel Crescent Court, and a $500 gift certificate from Jacksons Home & Garden.  

Attendees were then directed to the Horchow Auditorium for van Rems’ floral demonstration. DMA League president Sheila Durante opened the symposium welcoming all and thanking the League’s loyal supporters and its corporate sponsors whose support of Art in Bloom helps underwrite the DMA’s education programs and the League’s Floral Fund.  She introduced Jill Goldberg, Art in Bloom’s honorary chairperson, thanking her for graciously lending her considerable expertise and leadership to the event.  Durante then invited Art in Bloom’s chairperson, Sarah Jo Hardin to the podium, and paid tribute to Hardin’s creativity as well as her leadership talents.

Chairperson Hardin thanked all the attendees before introducing the Park Version choral group from Highland Park High School, who performed a capella “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” from the Beach Boys as a tribute to the many Art in Bloom volunteers, followed by “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent, in honor of this year’s theme.

Featured speaker René van Rems, a world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry, took the stage to begin his demonstration of eight designs inspired by works in the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  As he began work on the first design, inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting A Fox in the Snow, van Rems warmed up the crowd immediately by sharing a tip. “For those new to floral design; when in doubt add a hydrangea,” he said, as he added white hydrangeas to the arrangement.  He then went on to create seven diverse designs, from traditional to contemporary, as he thoroughly entertained the crowd with his wit and wisdom on all things floral.

Attendees returned to the Museum’s concourse to continue perusing the silent auction, which included the designs just created by van Rems, while sipping specialty spring-inspired cocktails by Duckworth Vodka.  Van Rems also took time to sign copies of his book, Rene’s Bouquets: A Guide to Euro-Style Hand-Tied Bouquets.

Patrons progressed to the Atrium for a seated lunch with tables dressed in cornflower blue and watermelon, with floral centerpieces from Judy Blackman of Blumengarten.  At each place setting was a white porcelain birdhouse vase with pink roses from Forestwood Fine Flowers and a $250 gift card from St. John.

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, with each course inspired by a season and featuring locally or Texas-sourced ingredients, including a summer-inspired first course of watermelon, prosciutto, and sliced brie salad with Texas balsamic and micro basil; followed by a fall entrée of jalapeno and corn stuffed semi-boneless Lockhart quail with wilted Uvalde curly spinach, glazed root vegetables and flower thyme jus.  As winter’s assiette of chocolate desserts was served, Hardin came to the podium to introduce St. John’s Highland Park Village store director Randi Schwartz.  Schwartz quickly got the day’s style show going with models walking the runway dressed in selections from St. John’s gorgeous spring collection. 

The floral extravaganza continued after the symposium with the first-ever Live Blooming Art Exhibition featuring a unique display of floral arrangements created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Participating designers were: Judy Blackman of Blumengarten; Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs; Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals; Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers; Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers; Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals; Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias; Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora; and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design. The exhibition remained on view to all DMA visitors March 28 - 29 in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries. 

Art in Bloom International attendees included:  Sarah Jo Hardin, Art in Bloom chairperson; honorary chairperson Jill Goldberg; Sheila Durante, Dallas Museum of Art League president; Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art; Margaret McDermott; Mary McDermott Cook; Peggy Sewell; Beverly Freeman; Holly Huffines; Susan Fisk; Nancy Cates; Barbara Bigham; Sherwood Wagner; Stacey McCord; Diane Byrd; Ola Fojtasek; Heather Furniss; Rusty Duvall; Beverly Nichols; Faye Briggs; Cyrena Nolan; Linda Burk; Angela Paulos; Emily Maduro; and Julia Fuqua. 

About the Dallas Museum of Art League

Founded in 1938, the League is celebrating 76 years of contributions through volunteer work for the Museum, art acquisitions and the support of key endowment funds. 

The League has participated in the acquisition of approximately 100 works of art for the Museum.  In addition, the Dallas Museum of Art League has supported special exhibitions, education, exhibition endowments, Late Nights and Thursday Night Live and contributes to the Endowment Fund.

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