Art in Bloom 2020

From roadkill to the runway: Artist Holly Young on the purse that became an Art in Bloom sensation

by Diane Richard 
Long before anyone knew what COVID-19 was, or that Mia would close this spring because of it, Holly Young was in Bismarck, North Dakota, thinking about the 2019 Sante Fe Indian Market. It was several months before the nation’s premier showcase for Native artists, and Young was looking for a challenge. So she dug into her stash of roadkill porcupine quills.

Holly Young

She transformed the quills, along with leather and feathers, into a lavish purse imagined for the catwalk. At the market, her extraordinary artwork caught the eye of Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Mia’s associate curator of Native American art. Snared, more like it. Like an eagle surveys a fox eyeing a hare, Young noted Ahlberg Yohe circling back multiple times to examine the purse. When Ahlberg Yohe approached her to praise it, Young felt euphoric. Before long, a purchase was brewing. Three members of the Friends of the Institute—Maria Eggemeyer, Maria Wagner Reamer, and Therese M. Blaine—generously opened their own pocketbooks to secure the purse for the museum’s collection.

Raised in Fort Yates, North Dakota., and now living in Bismarck, Young wasn’t sure the artist life was for her. In times of doubt, the rich art legacy of her Dakota ancestors sustains her. Now, she hopes to be a bridge for future artists—her 12-year-old daughter, Inyan, for instance. “She has finally got into art herself,” she says. “She is such a huge part of my art journey. I feel like it’ll bring us closer.”

Here, she talks about her heritage and the purse, called Floral Legacy, which was chosen as the featured work for Art in Bloom at Mia this year.

How does the natural world inspire you?

I grew up with my grandma out in the country. We lived in a really small house, seven miles out of town on a few acres of land. I don’t think nature was important to me at that time. When I look at my own art now, though, I can see how it was poking its head out. It’s something that’s in me, in my memory. The plants, the flowers, the relationship with the land, the healing properties that come from those things are very inspirational to my art.

I also look at the natural world as the life cycle and the relationship the animals and plants have to one another to survive. I feel that’s how my art life is. I lean on my community, the people, and the traditions to inspire me. I don’t think I flourish without it. Personally, how the natural world has the power to regenerate itself, that’s how I feel about myself as an artist. We have our highs and lows. Sometimes your art life is going really good; sometimes it’s difficult. Pulling from my community, someone will say an encouraging word and I’m able to regenerate myself.

What inspired you to make Floral Legacy?

This was only my second year at the Indian Market. I needed to come up with a big project to challenge myself. Everyone knows me as a bead worker. I knew I wanted to do quillwork; I had just taught myself quillwork. I also do ledger art. I was finishing a ledger piece, and I drew a lady who was holding a bag. I remember thinking, “This is really cute. That’s what I should make.” At the time I thought it wouldn’t be so hard. I really humbled myself thinking how fast it would go. It did not turn out to be like that. It took forever.

To read more of this article: go to the Mia website, here.



Art in Bloom 2020 Dedications are now available. Honor friendship, love, or a beautiful memory as you help raise funds for Mia.











Each year, Art in Bloom features this lovely tradition. It’s easy to do!

Choose a level: 

The $50 Friends level includes a plaque with the recipient’s name placed on the pedestal of  the chosen artwork (each artwork will be limited to three dedications). It will also be placed on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program. 

The $100 Commemorative level includes a plaque placed by the chosen artwork (each artwork will be limited to three dedications) with the recipient’s name, your name and inclusion on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program.  $100 contributions will be given priority on artwork.

Choose Your Artwork:

Go to Art in Bloom Dedications webpage,  to view the artwork options and print out the dedications form. Artwork is available now. 

Mail your Dedication into the Friends Office:

Please mail the dedication form along with payment on or before Friday, April 3, 2020, to:

Friends of the Institute, Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

For more information, call the Friends office, 612.870.3045, or email

Your fully tax-deductible donation supports the Friends education programs and busing grants for students to visit the museum.

Art In Bloom Call for Volunteers

The link is now live for Art in Bloom 2020 volunteer sign-up! Be sure to pass it along to your friends.








Art in Bloom 2020 is well underway, and volunteers are needed to make it all happen! There are number of ways to get involved, one of which is through the Art in Bloom pop-up shop. Here are some of the available positions: 

AIB Shop Floor Sales/Customer Service

AIB Shop sales/customer service associates will greet customers and answer merchandise questions and concerns. They should be comfortable with determining customer needs. We will encourage suggestion selling, so a helpful, engaging personality is best.

AIB Shop Cashiers

Duties for an AIB Shop cashier will include: greeting guests, ringing merchandise, and properly tendering sales. Comfort with retail sales is encouraged. An engaging personality with customers at the checkout point is important.  All training will be provided.

AIB Shop Baggers/Wrappers

Duties for a AIB Shop wrapper/bagger will include: wrapping delicate merchandise and bagging product in an efficient manner. Comfort with retail sales is encouraged, as well as an engaging personality that creates a fun atmosphere and shopping experience for the customer.

It takes every Friend to make Art in Bloom a success! Sign up here:

Remembering Friend and former Art In Bloom Chair Pauline Altermatt at this year’s Fashion Show

Pauline Altermatt, via Star Tribune

We’d like to invite you to join us in remembering Friend and former AIB Chair Pauline Altermatt, at this year’s Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Luncheon. 

For Art in Bloom 2020, Linda and Phil Boelter have generously begun a sponsorship drive with a lead donation to remember our Friend.  All contributions will be donated to the Friends Wheels on the Bus campaign, which brings thousands of school children each year to experience Mia’s world-class educational programming. Please add to this sponsorship by contributing whatever you wish in Pauline’s memory.

All contributors will be recognized at the Fashion Show and Luncheon on Friday, April 24, 2020.

Tickets to this event will be available beginning March 1 at 

To donate, you can mail a check or drop one off in person to:
Minneapolis Institute of Art
C/O: Friends of the Institute, Art in Bloom
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55404

Note: Please put “Pauline Altermatt” in your check memo line.

Or, if you prefer, you may call the Friends Office (612.870.3045) to provide your credit card information.

Annual Art in Bloom Fashion Show and Luncheon Planned for April 24

April 24, 2020 10:30 am


Target Atrium

Ticket Price: $85-$175

Mark your calendars and get your tickets early for this annual Art in Bloom event featuring spring-inspired fashions and food!

Art in Bloom 2019 Fashion Show hosted by Grant Whittaker.

The Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon is just around the corner. With your generous and sustained support, we continue to grow this event year after year. This spring we look forward to expanding the event, and with your help, its philanthropic impact. Please join us for another fabulous afternoon of fashion, music, and cocktails as we celebrate the spring season!

The Fashion Show & Formal Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 24, 10:30AM-2PM. Check-in begins at 10:30AM in the Star Tribune Atrium on the first floor of the Target Wing. Before the show, please join us for sparkling wine, a signature cocktail, and hors d’oeuvres in the Donna and Cargill MacMillan third floor Atrium. At 11:15AM, General Admission guests can begin gathering for the fashion show in Mia’s Contemporary and Modern Art Galleries. Around 11:45, the models will hit the runway. Immediately following, please join us in the Reception Hall for the spring inspired luncheon.

The Fashion Show is generously sponsored by the Galleria Edina and will once again be produced by internationally renowned stylist and fashion personality Grant Whittaker. We are also thrilled to announce that it will be included in the lineup for Fashion Week MN.

The Formal Luncheon is graciously sponsored by Linda and Phil Boelter and Friends, in memory of past Friends member and generous Mia supporter, Pauline Altermatt.

General admission tickets start at $85 ($35 tax-deductible) for early registration, and increase to $100 ($45 tax-deductible) after March 29, 2020. These tickets include one drink ticket for a signature cocktail, sparkling wine, or a non-alcoholic beverage during the cocktail event, general admission seating for the fashion show, and a seated lunch (gluten free and vegetarian options available) with wine. A cash bar will also be available.

VIP tickets are available for $175 ($100 tax-deductible). VIP tickets include express check-in, sparkling wine upon arrival, early admittance into the galleries, reserved front row seats for the fashion show, a swag bag, two sparkling wine or signature cocktail tickets, and priority seating at the luncheon. VIP tickets are limited, and tend to sell out quickly.

To purchase tickets and specify luncheon seating requests, please visit or call 612.870.6323. After you have purchased your ticket, you can also email Heidi Ault to confirm luncheon seating requests at

Art in Bloom raises funds to support Mia projects and Friends of the Institute initiatives, including educational programming and free transportation to Mia for young students, exhibitions, art acquisition, education, and community programs.

Donate Vintage Planters for Art in Bloom!

Check your cupboards for vintage McCoy and Shawnee flower pots for a fun fundraising opportunity at Art in Bloom.

We are excited that this year’s Art in Bloom Shop will be filled with live plants for sale.

In addition to enchanting hostess gifts, garden and tabletop merchandise the AIB Shop will be filled with life!

With plants available for purchase, we also need planters. We are specifically asking for donations of vintage McCoy and Shawnee flower pots that are in excellent condition, clean, and ready for resale. Small planters (3” 4” and 5”) with drainage are ideal. You can drop off flower pots in a designated box in the Friends office. 



Mid-January is when the seeds of creativity are planted for the talented Pedestal Floral Artists (PFAs) as they find out which artwork will serve as the jumping-off point for their Art in Bloom floral creations.

On January 16th, nearly 200 PFAs attended the annual Artwork Selection Session. The evening was a grand success, thanks to the leadership and coordination of the PFA committee and an additional 18 volunteers. Energy and excitement filled Target Reception Hall as PFAs renewed friendships and waited with anticipation to learn if the desired artwork would still be available when their selection number was called. This year, the committee implemented a new online registration and lottery system to facilitate a more fair and efficient Artwork Selection process.  By all accounts, this new system was well-received, and the PFAs inspired and energized by their assigned art from Mia’s permanent collection. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!



Honor someone’s memory, friendship, or love with an Art in Bloom dedication placed next to a specific artwork (maximum three dedications per artwork). 
The $50 Friends level includes a plaque placed by the chosen artwork with the recipient’s name, and inclusion on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program.

The $100 Commemorative level includes a plaque placed by the chosen artwork with the recipient’s name, your name, and inclusion on the Dedications insert to the Art in Bloom Program.  $100 contributions will get priority on artwork.

Go to Art in Bloom Dedications webpage,, to view the artwork options and print the dedications form. Artwork will be available for view after Monday, January 27, 2020. 

Your fully tax-deductible donation supports the Friends education programs and busing grants for students to visit the museum.

Please mail the dedication form along with payment on or before Friday, April 3, 2020, to:

Friends of the Institute, Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

For more information, call (612.870.3045) or e-mail ( the Friends Office.


Save the date for the Art in bloom preview party

Mark Wednesday, April 22 on your calendar for the Preview Party!

In just a few short months the grass will be greening up and Art in Bloom will kick off with our annual Preview Party.  Prairie Gardens is the theme of what promises to be a fun evening that will include the unveiling of our signature piece and new Mia acquisition, Floral Legacy, by the artist herself, Holly Young. What a treat!

Cocktail hour will include passed appetizers, beverages, and live jazz guitar music in the Jade Corridor, followed by a formal sit-down dinner in the Target Reception Hall. More live music, a silent auction, and other fun activities are also on tap. And of course, the popular Art in Bloom Shop will be open all evening for first-dibs shopping.

Please join us for this chance to celebrate,  renew friendships and support a cause we all believe in, ensuring children have the opportunity to visit Mia to experience the awesomeness of great art! Tickets will be available soon: stay tuned!


Art In bloom keynote speakers announced

Khéya Wíta Wókaǧe kiŋ: Dakhóta Yuȟáȟa Wakáǧapi; An Art of Turtle Island: Dakota Floral

We’re pleased to announce the keynote speakers of this year’s Art in Bloom.  Standing Rock Dakota artist Holly Young, who created Floral Legacy, the signature artwork for this year’s Art in Bloom, along with artist and curator Graci Horne, will participate in a panel discussion about the significance of Dakota floral art historically and in their own lives. Dakota floral art is a unique art form indigenous to this area and is firmly rooted in relationships with place and community. Learn more about the history of an original American art form that continues to inspire, connect, and affirm Dakota values and aesthetics.