01 May Partying With Plants: ‘Art Alive’ Soiree Is Half Flower Prom, Half Midsummer Night’s Dream
Last Friday’s party at the San Diego Museum of Art spoke to the sensualist in us all. First, there were the visual fireworks of 103 artworks matched with 103 floral interpretations that made good use of ranunculus stems, globe thistle and naturally fluorescent king protea. There was the smell of jasmine at the top of the rotunda, and the crunch of fried lotus roots in canapés. Blasting from the DJ booth: Damian Marley. (What did we touch, you ask? Well, you know how museums feel about that kind of thing…)
We were there to celebrate the opening of Art Alive, which we previewed last week. This night, the airborne moss angel had many souls to watch over: ladies dancing with jumbo roses in their hair, men with succulent pocket flair, and yers truly ordering drinks with names like “Je T’Anemone.” The cocktails were garnished with edible flowers and sponsored by Patrón, which also provided a mirrored, mesmerizing “What Flower Are You?” installation that combined the powers of a fortune teller with the artificial intelligence of facial recognition software. More on that in a little…
The first half of the night was spent under the stars, amid a Parisian-inspired flower stand and Dutch Masters-esque photo booth just outside valet. Within the courtyard, eateries like Nobu, Café Chloe and Sea Rocket Bistro served garden-inspired bites (most memorable: the celery root puree from Market Café at Loews Coronado). The ice-sculpted bar flashed like a beacon. On the dancefloor, a DJ and drummer induced the more buttoned-up crowd to cut a rug:
Later we were ushered into the museum rotunda, where we got an eyeful of the heaven-and-ocean-and-earth-inspired design, an absolute stunner designed by New York-based floral designer Bella Meyer. (Who also happens to be the granddaughter of Marc Chagall.) The party transitioned into the younger, hipper “Flowers After Hours” event that included menus from Stone Brewery and Alchemy and a live performance by the Sprags.
Then we abandoned our drinks to see the floral/masterpiece pairings…
And now, on to the art! Highlights included classical and modernist takes on calla lilies, palm leaves, aeonium and mums. Here are a few of our favorites: