Gazing into one of David Michael Schmidt’s floral displays is like stepping into another world, one of fantasy and surrealism, and Schmidt doesn’t hold back when he adds his lavish storytelling display to the New York State Museum’s annual flower show.
• What: “New York in Bloom”
• When: Feb. 21-Feb. 23
• Where: New York State Museum
• How much: $5 for adults; free for ages 12 and under
• Info: www.nysm.nysed.gov/programs/nybloom.
“Last year, and again this year, he designs these absolutely extravagant floral displays in the front lobby,” said Antonia Valentine, a spokeswoman for the museum. “Last year, he took objects from the museum’s display and designed a floral display around it — not your usual floral display — they are over the top.”
The designer has been somewhat tight-lipped about the details of his upcoming creation for the museum’s 23rd annual New York in Bloom to be held Friday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 23, though he said those who like stories of a woodland fairy tale are going to like this one.
“We will be featuring some of the most amazing woodworking artistry I have ever seen,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt’s creation is one of more than 100 floral displays that will be featured throughout the museum during the event. Garden club members, professional designers and floral enthusiasts from all over the Capital District are busy planning colorful displays of flowers throughout the museum’s galleries for the show.
Valentine said the show isn’t a typical flower show, but rather unique because the flowers are intertwined with museum artifacts and backdrops. Designers are assigned a location in the museum and use their creativity to bring the display alive.
Schmidt said he is not quite sure how he comes up with the ideas, but the collection of pieces he finds in the museum that are not on display are key to his designs.
“As a resident of the area, I never think, ‘I should go see what’s at the museum today,’ but I hope that by featuring items that create a story to give people a chance to stop, look and take their imagination away by telling a story,” Schmidt said.
In last year’s scene, Schmidt did just that by taking a glass hearse from the museum’s collection to create ”Once Upon a Time,” a display that intertwined flowers and props to create a whimsical fairy tale scene.
“When I looked over the thousands of items I could choose from, I kept coming back to that carriage, a glass hearse.” Schmidt said. “I knew it had never been on display, and it was so incredible I had to figure out a way to bring it into the light and show its magnificence.”
Schmidt said with the help of the museum, he was able to collect an array of other elements and build a storybook for people to enjoy.
The event benefits the museum’s after-school, mentoring and summer enrichment programs for children. In addition to the displays, the weekend also features demonstrations on floral design, children’s activities and a flower market.
Valentine said the timing couldn’t be better with the harsh winter the area has been experiencing this year.
“We are in the dead of winter … it’s freezing cold, gray and dreary outside. It’s a nice opportunity to come to the museum and explore the state’s history, but also an opportunity to see the signs and smells of spring at the museum in the middle of winter,” Valentine said.
New York in Bloom will take place at the New York State Museum from Friday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 23, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will offer demonstrations for children and adults on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a flower market will be held in the museum lobby while supplies last. Admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or at any Price Chopper Supermarket. For more information, visit www.nysm.nysed.gov/programs/nybloom.