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When Fine Arts & Flowers returns to the galleries of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Oct. 24-28, more than 75 floral designers throughout Virginia will use flowers and other live plant materials to interpret masterworks in the museum’s permanent collection.
The 11th staging of Fine Arts & Flowers at VMFA will include floral displays created by members of garden clubs across Virginia, including Roanoke resident Rosemary Francis and Vinton resident Rita Leiser.
Francis, a member of the Roanoke Valley Garden Club, will interpret a black-figured Greek amphora, a type of two-handled jug once used to transport wine. Leiser, of the Sugarloaf Garden Club, will pair her display with Bartolome Murillo’s painting of St. Mary Magdalene.
Fine Arts & Flowers is staged every two years by The Council of VMFA, the largest volunteer group at the museum located in Richmond. Designers are drawn from member clubs of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, the Garden Club of Virginia, and Garden Clubs of Virginia. Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses and Garden Centers is the official supplier of flowers and plant materials.
Admission to Fine Arts & Flowers is free Oct. 25-28. Paid tickets are required for special events, including morning lectures on Oct. 25 by Emily Thompson, a New York florist who decorated the White House for Christmas 2011, and on Oct. 26 by Jane Godshalk, who teaches floral design at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.
Fine Arts & Flowers begins Oct. 24 with a gala preview, An Evening of Petals and Glass. Ticket-holders will get the first look at the art-and-flower pairings as well as cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests will also be able to visit the banner exhibition Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, opening Oct. 20.
Several events are built around the lectures, including ticketed luncheons Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s luncheon, Flowers in Fashion, will feature clothing created and modeled by fashion design students at Virginia Commonwealth University.
New this year, Edible Flowers will provide tastings of wine, floral teas, and food, including edible flowers. VMFA’s chef de cuisine Greg Haley will demonstrate how to prepare this fanciful fare the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 25.
On Friday, Oct. 26, Flowers After Hours invites guests to enjoy an evening of wine tasting and music by Susan Greenbaum along with the exhibition.
Proceeds from this year’s Fine Arts & Flowers will be used for programming, beautification and maintenance of VMFA’s E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden.
To purchase tickets, visit www.vmfa.museum/faf for a complete schedule and ticket prices. Tickets are also available by calling 804.340.1405 or at the VMFA’s ticket desk, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond.