Art blooms in weekend exhibit

“Rachel’s Rose Garden” by Rachel E. Ruppel is displayed in the Singletary Center for the Arts as part of UK’s Art in Bloom exhibit on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Photo by Anne Halliwell

By Anne Halliwell

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Visitors to the Art Museum in the Singletary Center were greeted by huge tissue paper blooms at the entrance, which announced the 2015 Art in Bloom cocktail party on Saturday night.

Past the welcome desk, a sped-up projection of flowers unfurling played on a loop as museum workers prepared for the night’s crowd.

Stuart Horodner, the director of the Art Museum, said the cocktail party was a combination of the floral theme, visible downstairs and in the gallery, which placed large flower arrangements next to the artworks that served as their inspiration, and many other forms of artwork that played off of one another.

The arrangements grew more abstract as viewers made their way through the gallery. As attendees ventured further, a fall of blooms could become a bent figure, or a collection of stems might represent a leg or part of a geometric shape.

Horodner said artistic inspiration carried to the food.

“This is really the first year in the history of this yearly event that we’ve invited some of the top chefs to make food for tonight,” Horodner said.

On Saturday afternoon, the pedestals for the “250 unique bites of food” stood empty. Horodner said the idea, though, was to serve the food “as art.”

Horodner noted that the cocktails by Maker’s Mark would be unique to the event.

Behind the entry wall, several poems were on display from a project where the Art Museum asked local poets — including UK professors Frank X Walker, Erik Reece and Julia Johnson — to view pieces of art in the museum and write about them.

The poems were made into a book, which Horodner said was also for sale.

“This event has always been showing the museum off, trying to raise money,” Horodner said. “We’re trying to expand the event to more art forms … to showing creativity in all of its forms.”