A Baby Shower!

Please join us as we celebrate mom-to-be Nicole Berns, our former Friends Office Manager!

Jacob Epstein, Female Figure, 1913, flenite, Gift of Samuel Maslon, Charles H. Bell, Francis D. Butler, John Cowles, Bruce B. Dayton and an Anonymous Donor

Open House at The Friends Office Tuesday, June 25, 12:30 – 2PM


Kindly RSVP to Friends at friends@artsmia.org or 612.870.3245 by Friday, June 21, 2019.


Gifts optional:

Nicole is registered at Target, and online at Amazon (link here).

Art in Bloom 2019: See the People’s Choice Winners!

Congratulations to the recipients of our People’s Choice Awards!
These annual awards give our Art in Bloom visitors an opportunity to vote on their favorite displays.  (Special thanks to photographer Corey Strand for taking pictures of all of the arrangements. )

Best Interpretation of an Artwork

Tricia Johnson, Cottage on Fire, c. 1786-1787 by Joseph Wright of Derby

Honorable Mention:  Alissa Nudi, Veiled Lady, c. 1860 by Raffaelo Monti

Most Creative

Karla Newman, The Prodigal Son, c. 1720–30 by Pier Leone Ghezzi

Honorable Mention: Richard Raiche, Bronco Buster, 19th century, by Frederic Remington

Personal Favorite

Myra Rusten, Blessing of the Tuna Fleet at Groix, 1923, by Paul Signac

Honorable Mention: Janeen Rae, Olive Trees, 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh 

Pedestal Floral Artists are the heart of Art in Bloom.

Pedestal Floral Artists combine creativity and dedication to make Art in Bloom magic.

Black Place I, 1945, Georgia O’Keeffe


Pedestal Floral Artists—or PFAs, as they are often referred to—are the backbone of Art in Bloom. Tens of thousands of guests come to Art in Bloom every spring to view the PFAs’ creative works of botanical art.

For 35 years PFAs have built Art in Bloom’s reputation as a “destination event.” Not many events have this kind of longevity or sustain such a devoted fan base. So what creative magic do the PFAs conjure that continues to draw Mia guests year after year?

“I think that what PFAs bring to Art in Bloom is part floral wizardry and part dedication and hard work. Pedestal artists take their Art in Bloom participation seriously,” said Terry Carter, long time PFA and Art in Bloom volunteer.

That hard work begins in January with choosing an artwork to interpret from roughly 350 options offered by Mia curators. Next, PFAs contemplate the appropriate botanical design, select a complementary container, purchase their flowers, and finally, create a floral interpretation that will delight Mia guests. Carter added: “The inspiration and ideas of PFAs are as varied as the artworks they interpret.” Some PFAs interpret an artwork literally, and others highlight a particular element of an artwork, like its line, color or pattern. Floral interpretations can be whimsical, referential, or deeply personal.

While PFA floral arranging styles and methods are diverse, there is one commonality among PFAs—they appreciate the privilege of creating fresh floral arrangements that are paired with famous works of art.

Last year, PFAs were given the opportunity to share feedback about their Art in Bloom experiences via a survey. Here are two survey comments from PFAs:

Art in Bloom is a beautiful way to engage the community! It is an amazing opportunity to become intimate with such spectacular, precious pieces of art.

It’s a fun process and energizing to see how excited both the PFAs and the public are to be part of the Art in Bloom event.

This year, we can be assured that pedestal floral artists will once again create fresh botanical interpretations of Mia’s fabulous collection. When you attend Art in Bloom this year, and you have the chance to greet a floral artist in the museum, thank them for their contribution to Art in Bloom’s success.

Art in Bloom 2019 Supporters

Lead Sponsor:

Generous Sponsors: Martha Head, Hirshfield’s, Galleria Edina, Lakewood Cemetery, Norseman Distillery, SeaChange Print Innovations, Samuel and Patricia McCullough, and the Tom and Lynn Schaefer Charitable Trust

Additional Generous Support: Mary Grau, Christine and Robert D. Salmen, Bob and Barbara Scott, the League of Catholic Women, California Closets, Marly Miller and Katie Miller Remole, and THYMES

Media Partner: Artful Living

Extra! Extra! Read All About it! Special Art in Bloom 2019 Newsletter Coming Mid-March

The Sacred Egyptian Bean, plate 31 from Robert Thornton’s “The Temple of Flora,” 1804 (1799-1807), Peter Henderson; Engraver: Thomas Burke; Engraver: Frederick Lewis; Publisher: Dr. Robert John Thornton, The Minnich Collection The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 19

But Art in Bloom 2019 links are available now on the Friends website! Click through to read more about Art in Bloom and to buy event tickets now!

Keep your eyes open for the special “Friends Only” Art in Bloom 2019 edition of the Friends Newsletter coming to you in mid-March! This special edition will  focus on our largest fundraiser and Friend-raiser, Art in Bloom 2019.

The special edition will list all the flowers, fun, and fashion that Art in Bloom 2019 will offer at Mia from Wednesday, April 11-14. It will also provide links available to purchase event tickets directly.

If you don’t want to wait, event links are already available on the Friends website! Click here to access descriptions, ticket links, and read all about Art in Bloom 2019. Many of the events sell out quickly, so buy early!

Can’t wait to see you at Art in Bloom!

Calling All Art in Bloom Volunteers!

Sign-up is now open for Art in Bloom 2019 volunteer opportunities.

Art in Bloom would not be possible without the many volunteers who graciously give of their time and talents.

Please consider signing up for a shift or two this year.  A variety of positions are up for grabs  including greeters, guides, ticket takers, program sellers, gift shop customer service attendants, ushers, florist greeters, and more.

Volunteer shifts range from 90 minutes to about three hours and include a variety of roles and tasks. There’s a place for everyone!

Although past volunteer experience is great, it’s not required, so please encourage fellow Friends, friends, and family to join us.

Click here to see what the needs are, choose what you’re interested in, then hit “submit and sign up” to secure your spot.

Volunteer training will be held Saturday, April 6, 10-11:30AM.  The training is optional, except for those handling sales of any kind. The training will be held in the Friends Community Room.
RSVP for the training to hollybhernandez@gmail.com.

An Event Update From the Friends Fundraiser Committee

Regarding: Creating a Landmark, Honoring a Legacy: Bell Museum and Mia

The architecture of the new Bell Museum on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus will be the focus of a Friends event on January 31 at the museum.

Thank you so much for your interest in the Friends Fundraiser featuring Bell Museum Executive Director, Denise Young and architect, David Dimond scheduled for January 31, 2019. Due to extreme weather Mia closed the museum, which resulted in the cancelation of our event. We are extremely disappointed that we couldn’t present this program, as it also included remarks by Ford Bell and offered related tours through the museum. The Friends are planning to reschedule in the fall.

In the meantime, you have two options for addressing the money you paid to attend. You can choose to have your money refunded or you can make a donation to the Friends Transportation Program, which buses school-age children to the museum. If no action is taken, the entire ticket price will be donated to this Friend’s fund.

Please call 888.642.2787 (toll free) to exercise the option you prefer. We apologize for this disappointment and inconvenience. We do hope you’ll be able to attend in the fall. Thank you for your interest and support of the Friends of the Institute.

Help Wanted: Art Adventure Volunteers

Required skills: You like kids!

We’re looking for Picture Person volunteers for Mia’s spring Art Adventure program at Whittier International Baccalaureate school. You won’t believe how much fun it is!

The kids are so excited to have visitors in their classroom. They love to participate and don’t care if you’re an art expert or have ever presented art before. The Art Adventure theme for this year is “Let’s Celebrate Life!”

Please consider helping out. Feel free to sign up with another Friend, or recruit a friend to become a Friend. We’ll pair you with that person or another volunteer so you’re not going it alone.

Time commitment is as follows:

  • Training at Mia on Tuesday, April 2, from 11-12:30PM (mandatory).  
  • Three 45-min classroom visits to Whittier IB School on Mondays (4/8, 4/15, and 4/22), 11-11:45AM. Note: It’s ideal if you can make it to each visit. However, you can still volunteer if you can only make 1-2 visits.
  • Optional: Meet your class at Mia for their field trip on Friday (4/26) (Times TBD)

If you’re interested or would like more information, please contact Nancy McRae at friendsoutreach@artsmia.org or call/text her at 612.240.3774.

2019 Art in Bloom Preview Party

April 10, 2019 6:00 pm


Second-Floor Corridor, Mia

Ticket Price: $200 and up

Food, cocktails, and a first look at floral arrangements are all in store at this year’s Art in Bloom Preview Party, kicking off four days of flowers, fashion and fun!


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Join us as we kick off Art In Bloom 2019! Before the crowds descend, come celebrate spring, Art in Bloom style. Be among the first to admire the breathtaking commercial installations along with over 160 pedestal floral interpretations of Mia’s world-class art.

The party begins at 6PM in Mia’s elegant second-floor corridor. Live harp music, butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations with Mediterranean-inspired appetizers, and a full bar featuring a signature Art in Bloom cocktail will be on hand.

Activities will include docent-led tours of the pedestal floral arrangements, a scavenger hunt, picture-perfect photo opportunities, and an amazing selection of Great Gatherings (special outings and experiences) to sign up for. The ever popular Art in Bloom Shop will be open all evening for your shopping enjoyment.

Watch as local artist Joshua Cunningham creates a vignette painting of the Preview Party.  If you purchase a Fund-A-Need bus at the event, your name may be drawn to be the lucky recipient of Mr. Cunningham’s painting as a memento of this memorable evening!

Preview Party tickets start at $200 and will be available at the end of February online at ticket.artsmia.org or by calling 888.642.2787.

We look forward to celebrating with you on April 10!

Barbara Proeschel and Kari Jaksha
Co-Chairs, Preview Party

The “New/Old” Collection Connection Returns

Friend Joan Kampmeyer talks about one of her favorite pieces from Mia’s collection.

Every month we invite YOU, our Friends, to talk about your favorite piece of art at Mia. This month, Joan Kampmeyer talks about her favorite piece of art at Mia, Dale Chihuly’s “Sunburst.”

Dale Chihuly, United States, Sunburst, 1999, Blown glass, neon, metal armature. Gift of funds from Donna and Cargill MacMillan Jr., 99.132, © Copyright 1999, Chihuly Studio.

One of my favorite art objects at Mia is “Sunburst” by Dale Chihuly.  Who doesn’t love this fantastic yellow glass menagerie, which has graced the Third Avenue entrance at Mia for 20 years?  I always enjoy seeing it because it creates a warm and welcoming feeling upon entering the museum. It is amazing that this ball of fire consists of over 1,000 pieces of glass, 100 feet of neon tubing, and weighs more than 3,000 pounds.  Sunburst was made specifically for Mia, and the entrance is the perfection location. I delight in seeing it with every visit to Mia and am even more pleased that I don’t have to dust it!

-Joan Kampmeyer

A Random Walk Through Mia

November Friends Lecture features former Star Tribune visual arts columnist 

Mary Abbe with life-sized cardboard cutouts of Henri Matisse at Mia, Friday, February 14, 2014. Photo by Glen Stubbe.

Mary Abbe
“Wrestling Art into Words: A Random Walk through Mia”
Presented by Friends of the Institute
November 8, 2018
11 AM Pillsbury Auditorium

Mary Abbe has offered us an invitation: “As visual art reporter and critic at the Star Tribune, I had the privilege and pleasure of writing about the Twin Cities art scene for 32 years. Basically my job was to wrestle art into words…to translate the sometimes arcane world of art galleries, museums, collectors, scholars and historians into lingo and stories that non-specialists might enjoy. On many occasions that job allowed me to delve deep into the life and history of Mia…. Strolling the museum’s halls recently, I was again impressed by what treasures lurk within. Come, let me tell you what I found.”

Award winning journalist Mary Abbe opened up an entire world to readers through her visual arts column that ran in the Star Tribune from 1984-2016.  Her world was one of stories—of art, artists, curators, gallery and museum staff, art lawyers, restorers, movers and more. Retired now, Abbe says that roaming art galleries is still one of her favorite diversions.

“If all the thousands of words I pulled from my brain and arranged with my fingers managed to tell those stories right and true, then that’s the accomplishment I most value. Besides my family and friends, what I really care about is the stories we all have deep within us.”

Join us as we listen to her stories inspired by Mia—its art, people and community. 

Free tickets are available to Friends members starting October 15 by clicking here or by calling 612.870.6323. Tickets are available October 17 for the general public.