Art Alive brings flowers, cars and interactive workshops to SDMA


Kicking off its 38th annual Art Alive exhibition, the San Diego Museum of Art will welcome more than 12,000 guests to four days of art, music, food and, of course, flowers. Hosted April 11-14, the promenade of events begins with a black tie dinner on Thursday, with the perennially popular Bloom Bash going down Friday evening

The weekend will feature almost 100 floral designers interpreting works of art into botanical showpieces throughout the museum. For this year’s premier display, Jennifer McGarigle, founder of Floral Art, was tapped as the Rotunda Designer. She will create a large-scale floral wonderland themed after the museum’s Alfred Eisenstaedt: Life and Legacy photography exhibition.

Bloom Bash will also feature interactive art installations including works by Monty Montgomery, a local San Diego muralist, and Dominic Fontana, a San Francisco-based artist known for his large scale pieces with a most interesting and curious medium: Tape. For this event, Fontana was teamed up with BMW, after talking with Sarah Grossman, the Manager of Special Events and Corporate Relations, about the possibilities of working his medium on a car. As he noted, “the stars happened to be aligned this time.”

Fontana, the founder of Taped Metal Canvas, whose eye-catching work has previously been displayed at KAABOO Del Mar, labored for 26 hours across three days on the project. But the work on the BMW I8 didn’t come easy. Despite having complete freedom with artistic design, Fontana noted he had to release any preconceived ideas he had planned for the project.

“I was a little nervous with the car design that it wasn’t going to work,” he said, “and sure enough, my (original) design went out the window, and I had to let the car and its curves put the design on the car.”

The inspiration for his design ultimately wove that spontaneity together with another piece he had previously constructed, which will hang in the background of the car display. As Fontana described it, “it’s a big bloom piece with purple and red and green vines, and I used the colors in that piece to inspire what I would do on the car. That’s where it literally blossomed from.”

Like his work on metal canvases, Fontana’s work on the BMW will feature a range of adhesive and reflective tapes from his collection.

Bloom Bash guests will also be treated to 45 sweet and savory food stations, cocktail bars with floral-infused drink options, live music, lounges and activity areas, the Library Arcade with ’90s arcade games, a marketplace to shop for goodies, and even a Ferris wheel.

Check out the full lineup of events and visit for tickets:

Art Alive 2019 Premiere Dinner

6:30-11:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11

Bloom Bash

7 p.m. to midnight Friday, April 12, $200 for members and $250 for non-members

Bloom Bash also features culinary creations from San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs, floral-infused cocktails, live music and dancing, interactive entertainment and an exclusive after-hours viewing of this year’s floral exhibition.

Art Alive Floral Exhibition

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14, free for members; $25 non-members, $5 youth (7–17)

Flower Crown Workshop

1- 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, $75 for members and $100 for non-members

Garden of Activities

Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14, free after Art Alive admission

San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931,