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Society / Featured Parties

Belgium Floral Star Draws a Massive Crowd to Dallas Museum of Art

This is No Ordinary Flower Party

BY // 07.02.19
photography Tamytha Cameron

It is commonplace to hear of nonprofit events selling out — be it due to the weight of the cause, the fundraising skill of the organizers, or the notoriety of talent tapped as entertainment.

For the Dallas Museum of Art League’s 20th anniversary fundraiser, Art in Bloom: Joie des Fleur, however, there was far more than a sell-out at play. In fact, the luncheon and floral seminar —chaired by Eleanor Bond with honorary chairman Beverly Freeman — was so popular, it required two consecutive brunch seatings to accommodate the more than 300 people who attended.

The afternoon event, held annually at the Dallas Museum of Art, is famous for bringing in some of the world’s most renowned floral experts and designers. This year was no exception, with Belgium-born and Portland-based floral designer Francoise Weeks in town to give a presentation and demonstration focusing on her gorgeous woodland-inspired designs.

Brunch was appropriately European, with a buffet of vichyssoise, beef grillades, ratatouille crepes with Gruyere cheese, quiche Lorraine, plus crepes Suzette and gateaux au chocolat for dessert. Throughout the mid-morning meal, guests could be overheard remarking on the massive floral arrangements, designed by Rusty Glenn. The stunning Forsythia trees, flanked by an awe-inspiring array of flowers, ferns and moss, were inspired by Weeks’ earthy designs. The works of floral art were to set the tone for the presentation to come.

Once guests finished dining, it was off to Horchow auditorium, where Weeks spun tales of the childhood vacations in Switzerland that would inform her design aesthetic and her magical abilities to turn found forest flora such as moss, mushrooms, acorns, and bark into spectacular floral arrangements.

Of particular delight was the insight Weeks offered regarding her botanical couture pieces: purses, shoes, earrings, rings, necklaces, headpieces, and more all made of plants, flowers, and other natural materials. The audience was alive with questions — and for good reason. We have no doubt every guest went home inspired to create their own creative bouquets and arrangements.

Meanwhile, as Weeks was wrapping up her demonstration, the second brunch seating was alive and well. A flurry of family-friendly activities accompanied the later set, including face painting, origami by Paper for Water, and a live watercolor demonstration by artist Carol Ivey.

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