Hickory – For four magical days, see Matthew Diffee’s cartoons and other art made even more exciting when surrounded by an artistic floral design show and related events during the bloomHMA Weekend, April 26-29, at Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). bloomHMA Weekend events are held in collaboration with members of North Carolina State Florist Association (NCSFA).

The central focus of the bloomHMA Weekend will be the floral designs inspired by 20 specially selected cartoons and other art in HMA’s Matthew Diffee exhibition One Man Group Show in the Coe Gallery. Sixteen members of NCSFA will contribute their designs along with, new this year, four specially invited HMA members experienced in floral creativity. Those four are Joann Wilfong, Nancy Wilfong, Tara Bland and Sharon Sturgess.

The bloomHMA Weekend begins with a reception between 6:30-8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in HMA’s Coe Gallery. Surrounded by the floral designs and the Diffee exhibit, the bloomHMA reception will offer floral-inspired desserts, wine and beer. Further adding to the atmosphere, Denise Baxter and Suzanne Williams of the flute and harp duo Tapestry will perform music during the reception. Reservations are $15 for HMA members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 828-327-8576 ext. 206 to reserve space.

A bloomHMA Floral Artistry Workshop will be offered at the Museum on Saturday, April 28, the same workshop 10 a.m. – noon and then again 1-3 p.m. The workshop leaders will again be the accredited floral designers Stephanie Garrett, AIFD, CFD, NCCPF, and Jody McLeod, AIFD, CFD, NCCPF. Come and explore the textural elements that surround us every day. Featured will be techniques such as grouping, terracing and line, and the instruction will result in formal linear and vegetative parallel designs. Last year’s similar workshops were highly appreciated by participants.

Floral workshop reservations are $50 Members | $65 Non-Members. The registration fee includes instruction, all flowers, and supplies resulting in floral arrangements for participants to bring home. To register, call 828-327-8576 ext. 207 or visit http://hickoryart.org/. Don’t miss out, sign up early! Several people already have.

The instructors: Stephanie Garrett has been in the floral industry for 21 years. After attending NC State University, she received extensive florist training from European and local designers. Garrett enjoyed a freelance career working with special event companies and local flower shops along with teaching design at schools across the Southern Region, before joining Ninth Street Flowers 4 years ago. She was named 2006 State, Regional, and National Designer of the Year and has won several interpretative design competitions on a state and regional Level.

Jody McLeod is a 28 year veteran of the NC floral industry. He is the owner of Annie V’s Floral Design Studio in Clayton, N.C., and is an active member of the North Carolina State Florist Association (NCSFA). McLeod has served as NCSFA president and Chairman of its Board, is a former North Carolina Designer of the Year.

The floral designs in the Coe Gallery will be lovingly cared for throughout the bloomHMA Weekend so that visitors to the Museum can continue to enjoy the full splendor of the flowers for over three days.

Hickory Museum of Art was founded in 1944 to collect, care for, and exhibit American art. Today, almost 75 years later, the Museum has evolved into an arts center featuring an extensive permanent collection of art objects across all mediums as well as offering a variety of education classes for all ages. Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information about museum exhibitions, art classes, field trips, and events, visit www.HickoryArt.org or call the Museum at 828-327-8576, ext 201. Business sponsorship information is also available at the same telephone number.