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The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is ushering in its 11th annual Art in Bloom, a flower-filled annual event Thursday-Saturday, June 15-17 followed by an exhibit of plein air paintings through July 21.

Art in Bloom, a multi-faceted event that is the nonprofit arts center’s main fundraiser of the year, includes two distinct gallery shows, a display of floral arrangements, a gala and a garden tour.

All elements of Art in Bloom are ticketed.

Twenty-two works of art on loan from 11 regional galleries currently fill the art center’s Upper Gallery. On Thursday, June 15, 11 Ikebana floral designers and 11 western floral designers will interpret an art work.

In a flurry of early morning activity, all 22 designers will work to assemble their arrangements in the gallery before sweeping up and getting ready to celebrate the beauty they have helped create.

At 6 p.m. June 15, the arts center will welcome ticket holders (tickets are $50) to its Gala Preview party, an event that includes a buffet dinner with grilled salmon, farm-fresh veggies and sides, craft brews and wine and specially designed flavors of Ultimate Ice Cream for dessert, all to be enjoyed alfresco or inside the art center’s transformed theater space. The magnificent floral arrangements are the focus of the gala, as are the honored guests and vibrant community that participates in all that the arts center offers throughout the year.

Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, offer guests the option to view the floral designs only (tickets are $5) or combine the gallery show with a local Cottage Garden Tour (10 a.m.-2 p.m., $20 tickets) over the course of both days. Five gardens have been selected for the tour, which requires guests drive to each separate location. Maps can be picked up when tickets are purchased at the arts center on the day of the tour. Once at the gardens, guest will witness plein air, or open air, painters translating nature to canvas.

Following Art in Bloom weekend, the work of the plein air painters from the Garden Tour will be on display in the Upper Gallery June 20 through July 21. The exhibit will be free and open to the public.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 W. State St. Tickets can be purchased and information obtained at blackmountanarts.org or 669-0930.

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