Gala and Garden Tour celebrate 13 years of Art in Bloom

Special to Black Mountain News
Plein Air Painter Bryan Koontz has a perfect view of the home and garden of Joyce and Fritz Ackerman on last year’s Art in Bloom Garden Tour. This year’s tour is June 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year with the 13th annual Art in Bloom, an event that takes place Thursday through Saturday, June 13, 14 and 15. 

A Gala buffet dinner and gallery preview will be the focus of activities on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and give guests the opportunity to view 22 floral arrangements paired with artwork curated from regional galleries.

Some of the region's most talented and respected Ikebana and Western floral designers spend the morning at the Arts Center composing their arrangements. Later that evening ticketholders will enjoy a buffet dinner with grilled salmon and chicken, farm to table side dishes, beer and wine, and Ultimate ice cream for dessert.

Harpist Sue Richards accompanies guests as they take their time enjoying the artistry on the upper level.  Guests have an opportunity to meet the floral designers while socializing throughout the evening.

This year’s Honorary Chair is Dawn Wilson, who has served on the Arts Center Board and gives of her time, talents and spirit to many of the Center’s programs and events.

She continually serves the greater community and region through her involvement on commissions and boards, through sponsorship and support. Wilson is the owner of Dawn Wilson Realty and lives life to the fullest, graciously contributing to the health, sustainability and culture of our town. The Arts Center is proud to celebrate her through this event.

On Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the focus moves outside for a local Garden Tour. Five gardens, each with its own approach, aesthetic and philosophy, will be featured during this self-guided driving tour.

Tickets for the Garden Tour are $20 and include access to the Upper Gallery to view the floral designs, and a 20% discount to five local restaurants: Black Mountain Bistro, Foothills, Lousie’s Kitchen, Trailhead and the new North Fork Kitchen.

To participate in the garden tour, guests come to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 225 West State Street the day of the event to purchase a ticket and receive a driving map of the tour.

The tour could take as little as a couple of hours, or for those who are curious and want to learn more, both days are available.

Admission to only view the floral arrangements in the gallery is $5.

“We know it’s great fun to be able to look into another person’s yard and walk through their experience with nature. But to us, it’s about more than that,” said BMCA executive director Gale Jackson. “Every one of the hundred or so volunteers works very hard to make this event a success. From the planning committee who begin work a year in advance, to garden owners who work for months to prepare their yards, to the guides who are present in each garden to assist with questions, to the very talented plein air painters who allow guests to bear witness to their creative process, we want this experience to be about building community and deepening our understanding of how different approaches can achieve the same end. It has been an honor to nurture this event through the years.”

Sponsors for this year’s event include Greybeard Realty, Givens Highland Farms, New Morning Gallery, Artist with Camera and Drystone Joe.

Art in Bloom is a fundraiser to help support the diverse programming the Center provides including the Front Porch Theatre, a regular concert series, storytelling events, 30 classes a week, the BMCA Clay Studio and 10 exhibits in the Upper Gallery along with a wide variety of special events. For more information or to purchase tickets call 828-669-0930 or visit

Image: Plein Air Painter Bryan Koontz has a perfect view of the home and garden of Joyce and Fritz Ackerman on last year’s Art in Bloom Garden Tour. This year’s tour is June 14 and 15 from 10am to 2pm. Photo credit: BMCA