Floral professionals already understand the power of flowers in everyday life. This week, a floral artist and educator with an international following is turning a popular city park in South Florida into an oasis celebrating the fusion of art and flowers, for thousands of customers to see and experience firsthand.
Three years ago, Ruben Consa, AIFD, PFCI, founded the Doral Arts & Flowers Festival, which runs concurrent to the Miami Art Basel festival and takes place at Doral Legacy Park in the city of Doral. From December 6 to December 8, Consa and his team will transform the park into a modern garden featuring sculptural pieces of art created with flowers, plants and organic elements using unconventional materials such as steel, aluminum and wood. This year’s theme is “Miami in Bloom.”
“I want it to be a place where people can come and enjoy floral design and floral art at a high level,” said Consa.
“Originally, the festival was for our own school graduates to have an opportunity to be involved in floral art — to do something they don’t do every day,” explained Consa. “I wanted them to go beyond their commercial work and do something fun and experimental, to take floral art to a higher level. My initial thought was that we needed a plan to promote young floral artists and the more we got into it, the more we realized that we wanted to have younger people involved because the future of our industry depends on them.”
“It’s amazing to work with these young people,” said Consa. “When we went to the schools and told the kids that they could make a living with flowers, they were blown away. Not only that, Doral is the largest floral hub in the country and they never realized that.”
The festival will begin with a ribbon cutting and opening gala on December 6, with special appearances from the mayor, city council members and participating artists. On December 7, there will be workshops for children and adults. The exhibit will culminate with an awards presentation on December 8.
Consa has high hopes for the festival’s future. “It’s an ambitious goal, I know but I want the festival to become like the Philadelphia Flower Show,” he said.
Find out more at The Doral Art and Flowers website.
Renee Houston Zemanski is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.