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Adam Gladue is a second-generation floral designer adopted from Seoul, South Korea, and raised in rural Iowa, where he grew up spending time in his mother’s flower shop. Now a Minneapolis resident, he attained his Certified Floral Designer accreditation in 2017 and was inducted as a fully accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers in July 2019. Currently designing with Arts & Flowers Design Studio, Gladue showcases his creative range in all areas of floral design. Here, he shares what Art in Bloom at Mia means to him and what is giving him hope during this difficult time.

What does spring mean to you?

For me, spring brings the feeling of a fresh new year. I love Minneapolis, but throughout January and February, I’m probably curled up at home. It’s not really until spring that I venture out of my house for the joy of it. Of course, for us florists, it’s the time of year when we’re most spoiled. There’s nothing quite like a flower shop in spring; some of the best flowers are in full abundance and you can see the season shifting as new flowers become available.

Locally, the season starts with the blooming bulbs: tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and iris. Next come the blooming branches of forsythia, magnolia and crab apple. Followed by favorites such as peonies and lily of the valley.

What does Art in Bloom mean to you?

Art in Bloom has become such a multifaceted event that brings together the very best of what a museum can provide for the community: philanthropy, education, community engagement and support for local artists. Events like Art in Bloom offer individuals in the floral industry a space to showcase the real artistry of floral design and the creativity and passion that goes into our craft. It’s an incredible opportunity each year to challenge us as florists and to design for ourselves as artists.

What’s something you find hopeful and worth celebrating right now?

Right now, I’m most reassured by the way communities have come together in support of one another. Recently, Arts & Flowers Design Studio had a flower giveaway that helped support one of our local growers, Len Busch Roses. I couldn’t believe how many people came out to support this endeavor and called in wanting to help sponsor flowers to give away. It was because of this community support that the studio was able to keep the project going for more than a week, meaning that thousands of flowers got to be enjoyed by people who could use it most. I think that is definitely something worth celebrating.

This article is published in collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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