Balboa Park

San Diego Museum of Art's Annual Art Alive Event Goes Virtual

In its 39th year, Art Alive was supposed to take place this weekend at the San Diego Museum of Art, but the venue is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic

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A springtime tradition in San Diego’s culture and arts scene is going virtual: Art Alive – the San Diego Museum of Art’s long-running event – plans to bloom online this weekend.

Now in its 39th year, the Art Alive exhibition takes place on a long weekend in April every year at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. The exhibition typically features 100 floral designers’ interpretations of some of the museum’s masterpieces. The floral arrangements are displayed next to each corresponding artwork so visitors can take in both versions at once.

Like other museums of its kind at Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Art has been shuttered since last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But that won’t stop the museum from sharing its big event with visitors – at least in the digital landscape.

The museum said Art Alive 2020 will be dubbed #VirtualArtAlive and is set to go down from April 24 to April 26. It’ll be completely hosted online so visitors can enjoy it from home. It’s the first time in the event’s nearly four-decade history that it’ll go this route.

So, here’s how it’ll work.

Visitors are invited to follow the museum’s social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – Friday through Sunday at 3 p.m. for content featuring floral art interpretations over the years. The channels will also feature fun facts about Art Alive, plus a dance party, cocktail recipes and an art demo.

Now, each year, Art Alive officially kicks off with its Bloom Bash, a big party featuring art, activities and vendors. Last year, the Bloom Bash expanded into Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama and, before the museum’s temporary closure, the plan was for that to happen again.

For Virtual Art Alive, the Bloom Bash party will be hosted via Instagram Live at 7 p.m. Friday and will feature a music set by DJ Gabe Vega. The museum said attendees are encouraged to dress up, make a cocktail and dance it out.

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⁣Leading up to Virtual Art Alive weekend April 24-26, we’ll be sharing past floral designs 💐 of the Museum’s significant collection and interesting stories about works that feature flowers. 🌹⠀ ⠀ Join in on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! And throughout #VirtualArtAlive weekend, we invite followers to post their own “floral” interpretations (with materials found #AtHome) to join creations by this year’s #ArtAlive floral designers. Share yours with the hashtag #VirtualArtAlive for a chance to be featured! ⠀ ⠀ 📷: Here are four interpretations of Matisse's "Bouquet" from 2019, 2018: @floralsbypatricia, 2014, and 2013.⠀ ⠀ The jarring juxtaposition of colors that distinguished Matisse’s paintings beginning in 1900 led to his being branded a #Fauve (wild beast), a label that came to describe an artistic movement.⠀ ⠀ #Matisse retreated to a more restricted palette around 1910, but this large still-life, executed after the outbreak of World War I, demonstrates a return to the bold decorative sensibility and high-keyed color that would come to characterize Matisse’s modern vision.⠀ ⠀ Matisse likened the best painting to a good armchair that provides relaxation from physical fatigue. This resolutely bourgeois conception of art’s function is well served by this elegantly informal subject: an arrangement of flowers—probably gathered in the artist’s garden—positioned against a loosely brushed grey ground.⠀ ⠀ Featured: Henri Matisse (AKA Henri Emile Benoît Matisse). "Bouquet," 1916-1917. Oil on canvas. Gift of M. A. Wertheimer from the collection of his late wife, Annetta Salz Wertheimer. 1934.77.⠀ ⠀ #BloomBash #ArtAlive2020 #BloomBash2020 #SDMA #SDMAYourWay #BalboaPark #SanDiegoMuseumofArt #Fauvism

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Keeping in theme with the stay at home world we’re living in, Art Alive organizers also plan to feature an online exhibition of works interpreted by designers using items from home. On Sunday, visitors can take part in a step-by-step tutorial for making crepe paper flowers at home.

Visitors will also have a chance to submit their own photos and memories from Art Alive for a chance to be featured by the museum.

Art Alive is the San Diego Museum of Art’s annual fundraiser that helps support the venue’s ongoing education and outreach programs, and its special exhibitions.

This year, the Virtual Art Alive events are free, but the museum said those who wish to donate can do so online here.

The Art Alive tradition blossomed 39 years ago and each year, about 12,000 visitors stroll through the San Diego Museum of Art to check out the flower exhibition.

For a few years, the museum’s staff has been making a fun video to draw visitors to the event and before the pandemic, they released this video for Art Alive 2020. So, crank it up and move and groove, and take yourself to the art, even from home.

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