Your opportunity to see more than 100 floral designers bring the San Diego Museum of Art’s renowned Permanent Collection to life is next week, during the 34th annual Art Alive . It’s the Museum’s largest fundraiser and a tradition that residents and visitors look forward to.

The exhibit runs between April 24 – April 26 and does exactly what its name implies with exquisite floral arrangements mirroring paintings and sculptures throughout the museum. It’s spectacular, to say the least.

Art Alive at San Diego Museum of Art
Thomas Doughty, Shipwreck, 1834. Oil on canvas. Bequest of Eleanor Louise Stanton, 1962.8.
Floral interpretation by Judy Chance, AIFD.

This year, Art Alive will honor the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park. To celebrate this major milestone, René van Rems of René van Rems International will return for his seventh year as the Rotunda Designer. Informed by historic archives from 1915, van Rems will transform the Museum’s central Rotunda into a lush and beautiful floral design and art experience reflective of the Victorian era in Europe and the early days in San Diego. His design will incorporate California-grown flowers such as white hydrangeas, trumpet lilies, carnations, flowering herbs, and more. An internationally known floral artist from Amsterdam, van Rems has been involved with Art Alive since its inception and last served as the Rotunda Designer in 2011.

Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art

General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations featuring:

Garden of Activities  
Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Great for families, the Garden of Activities features a Museum-wide flower hunt, a children’s reading area complete with nature-inspired stories, and a variety of floral-themed projects designed for children and families to enjoy together. Activities are free after Art Alive floral exhibition general admission.

Floral Lecture
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 a.m.
From Fabergé to Cartier, independent curator and Fabergé expert Timothy Adams will speak on the influence of flowers and nature on goldsmiths from the turn of the 20th century to present. Adams is Curatorial Consultant for the Decorative Arts department at the Bowers Museum, and Fabergé Historian for the Museum’s 1989 Fabergé: The Imperial Eggs exhibition. Tickets to this annual presentation are $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers.

Floral Masterclass
Sunday, April 26, 10:00 a.m.
Inspired by Balboa Park’s Centennial, the 2015 Floral Masterclass takes inspiration from the California garden-style arrangements in fashion at the time. Workshop attendees will create and take home an elegant arrangement pairing traditional European elements with a California twist. Designed for all levels of experience, this workshop is led by Sharon Mintz, 2007 Rotunda Designer, 15-year Art Alive legacy designer, and designer at San Diego’s Organic Elements. Tickets are $100 members, $125 for nonmembers, and include a continental breakfast.

About Art Alive
As the Museum’s largest annual fundraiser, Art Alive highlights its Permanent Collection to provide critical support for education, outreach programs and special exhibitions year-round. For more information or to make a donation in support of this San Diego tradition, call the Art Alive Hotline at 619-696-1999, or contact the Museum at Tickets are also available online at

Support for Art Alive has been provided by Art Alive 2015 Signature Sponsor Audrey S. Geisel, and Presenting Sponsors Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner. The Art Alive 2015 Premiere Dinner Chairs are Valerie Cooper, Laurie Mitchell, and Sheryl White. Bloom Bash chairs are Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo, Demi Rogozienski, and Jacki Johnson-Widder.

art alive san diego-2

Juan Sà¡nchez Cotà¡n, Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca 1602. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, 1945:43. Floral interpretation by Sidney Heffner.

art alive san diego-11

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The Young Shepherdess, 1885. Oil on canvas mounted on board. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Larsen, 1968:82. Floral interpretation by Jolene De Hoog Harris.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. This exhibit looks so beautiful! And I have such an appreciation for art. I’d love to soak in a little culture and enjoy an afternoon here!! I also live really close to the park 🙂

  2. My daughter’s 8th grade art teacher recommended the show to us. My daughter loves art and flowers. She has taken her watercolors to the Botanical Building and painted orchids. I believe she would enjoy Art Alive!

  3. I have always dreamed of attending this event, Bloom Bash, since it’s inception and would love to wear a flower headdress! Flowers, art and people enjoying life are so healing and exciting as this would be one of our most memorable evenings to share!!

  4. So beautiful! This looks like a great exhibit to visit, and I’d love the opportunity to win tickets. Thank you.

  5. I’ve only lived in SD for 1.5 years and still haven’t been able to make to SDMA. This seems like the most perfect exhibit for a first-timer to experience!

  6. our family has experienced 3 deaths in past couple months. Life has seemed rather dark lately. If I win these tickets will go to my daughter whom I know will be rejuvenated by Art Alive. The title of he event alone conveys salve for a hurting soul.
    Thank you for this chance and good luck to all of the entrants. I know it will be hard to choose.

  7. My mom and I will be visiting from Midwest and we are so excited to see this opportunity. She loves flowers, I love art of all sorts, so this will be a perfect event for both of us. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. This looks like a beautiful event! I’m trying to get my husband to soak in as much of San Diego’s awesomeness as possible before he gets orders back to the east coast. Some days he really enjoys art museums and some days he just isn’t in the mood, but I know free tickets will definitely get him in the mood to come with me 🙂