This summer, in conjunction with the exhibition In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, the museum’s programming spreads beyond the galleries and even outside of our walls. A generous multi-year grant from P B and K Family Foundation is allowing Martin Plaza to be transformed and activated as never before.
For this summer’s plaza program, Gensler, a national architecture firm with a local office, designed a framework structure of weatherproof cardboard tubes. The installation, called Bloom, includes areas to take part in programs, gather, eat, and socialize. It will be activated from now through September with public programming and artist interventions selected through a community open call. Botanic illustrator Meredith Feniak and sculptor Alex Worden have created flower-inspired artistic additions to the installation and over a dozen local creatives will host participatory opportunities including a workshop with a local chef about cooking with flowers, botanical drawing lessons, flower arranging demonstrations, and flamenco dancing. The grant also includes the addition of an activity cart where the public can access self-serve art projects and other helpful items throughout the day.
Alex Worden’s Lilypads and Petals installation above.
Debra Perry from the P B and K Family Foundation explains: “We like the idea of supporting this program for a multitude of reasons. When we visited England when our kids were younger, we loved the courtyard space at the Victoria and Albert [Museum] which allowed our children to take a break and then go back to the exhibitions once they had time to play. Now, here in Denver, families with young children can have a similar opportunity.” She added, “The outdoor space becomes an entryway to the museum. Events held on the plaza will encourage and inspire community members under the umbrella of arts and will also attract new audiences to the DAM.”
Jeff Baldwin and Debra Perry founded the P B and K Family Foundation with the idea of teaching their sons to be active participants in making the world a better place. Chief Learning and Engagement Officer Melora McDermott-Lewis said, “the Foundation’s support has helped extend the DAM’s programming into the community through a new and unique program, which is very exciting for us. We are so grateful to Debra, Jeff, Dalton, and Colton for allowing us this priceless opportunity.”
The Bloom plaza installation is generously funded by the P B and K Family Foundation.