The Official Blog / Diary / Journal of the Denver Art Museum's Artist-In-Residence Program

From Arthur: Ulterior Motives

So part of my "ulterior motives"  with my residency was to really show the public the possibilities of floral design. The floral industry is pretty terrible with showing the public the artistry that's possible. There are conventions with obscene budgets that showcase all of the magical grandiose possibilities, on a scale very similar to say, the Rose Parade, and the public never sees any of it. We keep our most talented artists secret, meanwhile our industry is being ravaged by order gathering services and a blossoming DIY industry.

So my goal as a floral artist is to change that. Let's make giant interactive floral sculptures! Let's adorn models with flowers and send them into the world! Let's give flowers a voice, a presence. Let's get people to think "what is this?'  Is this real?  Let's disturb people, let's get people to feel something. Art is art, and flowers can convey anything a brush or pen can.

I've often heard people say that flowers don't last very long...etc., well that's part of the beauty of it. Throughout history flowers have been used as adornment and to mark special moments in life. A birth, a death, the joining of families. A moment in time. Knowing the time element of flowers is one of those special powers a floral designer has.  When does the arrangement need to be fully open? How long does it need to last? Is it in season? What style? What sentiment? All of these questions are  part of the process. From a happy birthday bouquet to an art piece in a gallery. Time is just as important as a color, or a vase.

The most fulfilling part of my residency was interacting with the public in my pop up studio. To have people simply recognize my work as art, to not be put into the somewhat dated term of "florist".   Yes I am that as well, but that's literally just the surface of the possibilities. I'm many things.