Toledo Museum of Art will be full of flowers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo Museum of Art will be full of flowers

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The Toledo Museum of Art will be in full bloom for a special event in May. It's called "Art in Bloom." Part of the event pairs up professional florists and glassblowers to come up with a work of art for auction. Money from the four day celebration will be used to help keep art a central part of our community through art education programs and projects.

The hot shop in the Glass Pavilion at the museum is a place where modern day glass masterpieces are created. Jeff Mack is the Glass Studio Manager,"All the glass around you at one time was liquid. We take it in its liquid or molten state and scoop it out of the furnace which has a big clay pot in it that holds glass. We have it at the end of the hollow steel tube. We shape the glass into a ball and inflate it to form a hollow vessel."

 The hollow vessels can take hundreds of forms, what they're focusing on for this project is flower vases. A dozen local florists came up with designs for a vase to hold their creations and the glassblowers brought them to life. Mary Beth Lorenzen of Schramm's Flowers is one of the florists,"I've been in the floral industry for more than 40 years and this is the highlight of my career."

 Elizabeth Emmert is the co-chair of the Art in Bloom event,"The florists have never had the opportunity to create the vessel their work goes into so this is a different side of it and very exciting for them." Lorenzen came up with an aquatic theme for her vase, "I knew I wanted to do a fish. I love the colors of the ocean the colors of the glass. I want you to look at it and feel like you're looking into an aquarium or scuba diving."

Toledo is of course known as the Glass City. In fact, the founder of the museum Edward Drummond Libbey made his fortune in the glass business but Toledo's ties go well beyond industrial glass. The art of blowing glass is thousands of years old but the American Studio Glass Movement got it's start right here in Toledo. Mack says workshops here at the museum with Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino in 1962 started it all. Since then the movement has gone worldwide, "We're in a new era with the studio glass movement and we're not sure where it will go but this certainly is the birthplace of American Studio Glass." 

Art in Bloom is sponsored by the Museum Ambassadors. It runs May 8-11. It will include a black tie gala on Thursday night and that's when the flower vases will be auctioned off. There will also be lectures, workshops, free tours and a Mother's Day brunch. There will also be arrangements on display done by non-professional florists that were inspired by works of art in the museum's collection.

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