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Every year, over a quarter of a million flowers bloom in the spring on the campus of Newfields, which includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art as well as many different styles of gardens that unfold one into the other (not unlike galleries in the museum). Our mission was to make Newfields a destination as the winter blahs receded, the most obvious and best place to observe the many stages of spring.
“Hello Spring” was our name for the event, at once a celebration and an invitation: greet the flowers in the garden and, especially if it rains, come inside the museum and see the art (much of which is inspired by or contains elements of Spring and flowers). One minor wrinkle—not all the flowers appear at once. And because spring is capricious and different every year depending on the weather, we couldn’t predict exactly when a given species of flower would appear. We did, however, know the order of blooming. So, in combination with flower-inspired art from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, we created collages that could “roll out” in stages, featuring blooms concurrent with whatever was going on in the garden. As the season went along, we made sure the campaign coordinated with the events, exhibits, celebrations and blossoms featured on the campus.
Record-breaking attendance. Despite a Spring that almost never got started—winter refused to leave, then the rains came—we had enough nice days that attendance was higher than last year, particularly on special days such as International Day of Flowers. Longer hours and a relatively new Beer Garden (in its second year) also improved attendance, along with buzz on social media as we initiated conversations and rolled out new versions of our collage as the museum opened exhibits including “Bes-Ben hats” and “Cracking Art.”