Floral artist Robert Friese, an American Institute of Floral Designers member, created giant mushrooms for an earlier exhibit held at his Fruitport property in west Michigan.

Floral artist Robert Friese, an American Institute of Floral Designers member, created giant mushrooms for an earlier exhibit held at his Fruitport property in west Michigan.

Photo provided by Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall to blossom for Art in the Elements

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published August 20, 2019


ROCHESTER HILLS — Floral artists from around the country will share their talent at Meadow Brook Hall Aug. 22-25 during a unique floral exhibit and tour called Art in the Elements.

Shannon O’Berski, MBH director of external relations, said the Art in the Elements is a new endeavor for the national historical landmark home, in partnership with the American Institute of Floral Designers.

O’Berski was approached by the AIFD organization to partner on this year’s event, in part thanks to a connection with one of its members, Alice Waterous, who serves as the lead designer for the hall’s annual Holiday Walk event.

Waterous — also one of three co-chairs for Art in the Elements, with AIFD members Laura Daluga and Laura Parker — said Art in the Elements has been in existence for over 13 years, but this is the first time the tour has come to Meadow Brook Hall.

“It started on the west side of the state, and then, just two years ago, we moved it over to the east side of the state at Cranbrook,” Waterous said. “We really outgrew them, so because I have such a great relationship with the people at Meadow Brook Hall, we presented the idea to them and they were very pleased to partner with us on it.”

This year, Art in the Elements visitors can stroll through the woodland paths of the Great Estate to view over 20 large-scale floral art sculptures and displays by designers from all over — including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Canada, to name a few.

“All of these people come at their own expense, just because they love what we do, they love the industry, and they really enjoy the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary and let their creativity run wild,” said Waterous.

After touring the outside, organizers said, attendees can step into the hall for a self-guided tour complete with floral designs inspired by the vast collection and unique spaces, ranging from the art glass Tiffany collection to a poker party in the games room.

“We will have 11 floral displays inside the hall. Such things that will inspire the designers on the inside of the home include the art deco floral rug that’s in the French Room, an Italian-inspired vase in the Venetian Guest Room, Matilda’s rose gown in Matilda’s bedroom, one of our Tiffany lamps in the Grand Staircase, and more — so we’re incorporating Meadow Brook’s decorative collection with these floral pieces as well,” O’Berski said.

Art in the Elements will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23; from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. Tickets will be sold on-site the days of the event only, and the tour will occur rain or shine.

Admission costs $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 62 and older, $15 for Oakland University affiliates, and $12.50 for youths ages 6-12. Admission includes a self-guided house and grounds tour and entrance into Knole Cottage, Danny’s Cabin and the Wilson Playhouse.

Proceeds from this fundraising event will help support Meadow Brook Hall and the scholarship fund of the American Institute of Floral Designers-North Central Regional Chapter.

For more information, visit meadowbrookhall.org or call (248) 364-6252.

Meadow Brook Hall is located at 350 Estate Drive in Rochester Hills, on the campus of Oakland University.