Friends Newsletter

President’s Letter, June 2024

Dear Friends,

Opening the envelope and finding this thank-you note (pictured above) was a highlight of my day, and I want to share it. As a Friend of the Institute, this thank-you is also for you!

Our organization helped make these students’ (and many others’) museum trips possible with our transportation grants. We, along with Mia guides and our Mia staff colleagues, are helping a new generation experience the wonder of art. That feels good.

We should also feel very good about putting on our 40th year of Art in Bloom! Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to our Art in Bloom committees, our honorary chair Ellen Archibald, the pedestal floral artists (PFAs), commercial floral artists (CFAs), our generous sponsors, our many volunteers and the Mia staff. Kudos and much gratitude to our 2024 AIB co-chairs, Diane Morrison and Barb Champ and our office coordinator, Laura Galarneau, for their enthusiastic dedication and countless hours ensuring the success of this Friends iconic event.

Seeing the joy and appreciation on the face of our more than 43,000 visitors that weekend makes all this worthwhile.

Now we roll into a more languid June and summer season with the successful finale of the Patricia Michael’s lecture and fashion exhibition, the book club session of “Lessons in Chemistry”, and the Friends-Only outing to St John’s University for a trifecta treat of an illuminated bible, an architecturally important church and significant pottery studio.

I thank our Friends Board for their time and service. I am proud of the work we have done together.

We will be doing transition meetings with new board members during the June and July timeframe and Laura’s office hours will be more limited during the summer.

In the meantime, as we relax and enjoy our wonderful Minnesota summer, remember, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.”

My best,
Barbara Proeschel
President, Friends of the Institute


Art in Bloom 2024 Brings Joy in Abundance

“Joyful: feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness.”  We are joyful that we have just completed another successful Art in Bloom and are reminded that this was the 40-year anniversary of the iconic event. Together we can celebrate 40 years of bringing flowers and art together. For 40 years we have created a floral feast for the senses, and a gift for our community.
With joy we celebrate the following news:

  • • 214 Pedestal Floral Artists interpreted artwork in Mia’s collections.
  • • 30 Commercial Floral Artists interpreted our Signature Artwork, “It’s a Delicate Balance” by Christi Belcourt
  • • “It’s a Delicate Balance,” was created by a living artist, Christi Belcourt
  • • 43,000 individuals attended Art in Bloom
  • • Over 250 individuals attended Party in Bloom
  • • Over 600 individuals of all ages participated in the Family Event
  • • Over 500 individuals attended the Still Life and Paper Printing open workshops.
  • • Lobby cash donations and donation kiosks contributed over $21,000 dollars to Art in Bloom
  • • $1,000 in floral arrangement sales were counted
  • • 8 Corporate Sponsors provided both financial and in-kind support for Art in Bloom
  • • 168 individuals attended Christi Belcourt’s Lecture
  • • 190 individuals attended Mary Jo Hoffman’s Lecture
  • • A Friends member, Ellen Archibald, served as an Honorary Chair.
  • • A small but mighty team of 12 served as the 2024 Art in Bloom Committee.
  • • Preparations for Art in Bloom 2025 are now in process and will be germinating lots of great ideas and initiatives for 2025

Though this list is long, there are even more components to Art in Bloom that are not mentioned above!  You might ask, how did all of this happen? It happened because some 185 amazing, dedicated volunteers collectively worked over 2,000 hours during the event.

We thank all volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, PFA’s, CFA’s, the Art in Bloom Committee, Friends of the Institute, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and our public that came to see this magnificent event. All things Art in Bloom support the Friends of the Institute’s mission of supporting and enhancing the collections, programs, and influence of the Minneapolis institute of Art.

With tremendously joyful hearts,
Diane Morrison and Barb Champ
Art in Bloom 2024 Co-Chairs


A Warm Welcome

What an utterly amazing afternoon it was! A sold-out crowd reveled in the delightful party that welcomed artist Christi Belcourt. Held at the Minneapolis Woman’s Club, the reception featured delicious food and the unique opportunity to meet and chat one-on-one with Christi.

Christi is the artist whose “It’s a Delicate Balance” was the signature piece of the 2024 Art in Bloom.  A Métis artist, author, environmentalist, and social justice advocate, Christi is well known for her large floral landscapes which emulate her native Métis beadwork. “It’s a Delicate Balance” set the stage for a glorious celebration of flowers and art throughout the four-day Art in Bloom event.

Mingling with friends and chatting with Christi was a truly memorable experience. Attendees felt honored to be able to ask individual questions of her and learn more about the inspiration behind her artwork and her love of nature, and appreciate more deeply her artistic expression. Surely, it was an afternoon to remember!

Many thanks to our wonderful and generous sponsors Maria Eggemeyer, April Netley, Richard Raiche, Suzanne and Bill Payne, and Maria and Dave Reamer. Their generosity made this event possible.


PFA Reception Pictures

Art in Bloom volunteers and artist enjoyed dinner provided by generous sponsor Sweetgreen at the annual PFA celebration.


Party in Bloom in Pictures

It was a spectacular feast for the senses! Party in Bloom guests were warmly welcomed with botanical cocktails, savory bites, and the sights and scents of fresh floral designs depicting Mia’s amazing art which inevitably touches the soul.

A stunning lighting extravaganza featuring female artists illuminated the museum walls. One of the many artists highlighted in party lights was Christi Belcourt, creator of “It’s a Delicate Balance,” the Art in Bloom 2024 Signature Piece.

Christi’s  incredible art also inspired our young Family Event participants who created their own version of her artwork shown here.

By dinner time, the joyful mood was elevated as everyone wended their way through galleries filled with flowers upstairs to a delicious dinner served with delightful conversation.  The evening ended in the Artful Afters Lounge with Coffee Cart specialties, delectable desserts, and festive music as the fun continued with friends, old and new.

What a magnificent way to celebrate 40 years of Art in Bloom, the cherished rite of spring in our community. Thank you, Heidi Ault, Loreen Fripp, and Gummy Grande (pictured here) for the endless hours you spent envisioning and implementing this wonderful evening!

Friends Enjoyed an Extra “Art in Bloom” Tour – at Como Park!

It was an adventurous group that braved an ice storm to attend our “Extra” Friends Event, at the Como Park Conservatory on March 26.

The occasion was to view the gardens the Conservatory had planted to reflect the flowers in “It’s a Delicate Balance,” this year’s signature art piece for Art in Bloom!  Lisa Philander, the Lead Horticulturist of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, took us on a private tour through the gardens, and gave us fascinating insight into the flowers that were chosen to mirror our work of art. It was a very special and fascinating adventure for us all and a chance for some great conversation.


June Friends-Only Book Club
Friday, June 21
10:00 am
Friends Office

Because of the persuasive powers, determination and vision of one woman, thousands of people annually visit The Morgan Library in New York City. Join us on Friday, June 21, starting at 10 a.m. to discuss “The Personal Librarian,” a work of historical fiction based on her story and written by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.  The discussion will be followed at 11 a.m. by an hour-long tour of selections from Mia’s collection that relate to the book.

To achieve this success in the early 20th century, Belle da Costa Greene hid her identity as a Black woman. To quote from the Morgan Library website, “Belle becomes a fixture in New York City and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.”

Advance registration is required to participate in the discussion and tour.  To sign up, call the Friends office at 612-870-3045 or email friends@artsmia,org. Remember that space is limited.  We will meet in the Friends office, which is on the first floor of Mia, behind the coffee shop.

The Friends-Only Book Club goes on hiatus for July and August.  We will resume our discussions and tours on Friday, September 20.  Look for a list of upcoming books in the summer edition of the Friends newsletter.


September Friends Lecture: “JoAnn Verburg: Aftershocks”
Thursday September 19
11:00 a.m.
Pillsbury Auditorium

JoAnn Verburg is known for her exquisite landscapes, intimate portraits, and innovative techniques in photography and video. Elizabeth Armstrong founded the first contemporary art department at Mia and is known for her commitment to experimental museum practices.

The artist and curator will speak together for the first time about the new exhibition “JoAnn Verburg: Aftershocks.” In the aftermath of a series of earthquakes and in the context of grievous world events —from the murder of George Floyd to the global pandemic and growing climate degradation—Verburg questioned how to continue to make beautiful art amidst the devastating reality of world events. This exhibition and the beautiful book that accompanies it are the result.

Armstrong and Verburg will go beneath the surface of the artist’s ravishing and mesmerizing images to explore her feelings of loss, dread and hope in a time of worldwide change and upheaval.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for this talk on Thursday, September 19th at 11:00 a.m.. A ticketed luncheon will follow the talk. More details will be announced in our August newsletter.


More Fun Around Town

Check out the “Como Friends’ Sunset Affair” at the Como Zoo & Conservatory
Evening of July 18, 2024. Details at