Muttart’s ode to Monet
Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory’s feature pyramid is seeking to inspire artists through nature, with a botanical interpretation of famous French painter Monet’s, classic works.
Easels sit to your left with unfinished brushstrokes, pastel flowers flow like a tide around you. A Victorian woman, finished in stained glass with an Aphrodite like effervescence glances at you over her shoulder. When I say “leisurely stroll through the garden” most people respond with a yawn. Yet the Muttart’s feature pyramid, the Monet Garden, makes both the florally illiterate and the gardening enthusiast give pause.
For artists, the pyramid breaths with the air of creativity, prompting sketches, stories and photography. Extra benches and tables have been added for this purpose.
Monet drew inspiration from his surroundings, and credits the richness of his paintings to nature. The Muttart wants to reflect this inspiration not only in its floral display, but with prompts like unfinished canvas paintings on easels and stained glass panels to inspire artistry derived from nature, much like Monet’s art.
Not only does the exhibit seek to inspire creative minds, but foster love as well.
The Monet garden show was chosen for this season specifically to fit into wedding season.
An iron gazebo crawling with foliage and flowers is stationed at the far end of the pyramid. This is where quite a few weddings take place.
The location of the gazebo and open floor plan allows for guests to be seated in all directions to face the couple, and be surrounded on all sides by an abundance of flowers.
The Muttart doesn’t just host wedding ceremonies, but has recently added date night to its calendar of events.
On Friday, May 24, the Muttart Conservatory is hosting “Illuminature: an interactive night of house music, custom visuals, and hand crafted cocktails.” With local DJs, live art, food and drinks, this adult only event is designed to draw audiences with previous trepidation about garden strolls to the Muttart for a night of botany and fun.
But if DJs and dancing are not your thing, the Muttart is still a beautiful location for date night. With stunning floral arrangements and a multitude of plant habitats in each separate pyramid, a quite, romantic evening is assured.
Date nights or adult nights are hosted on Wednesdays, and activities can include “tunes and tapas,” “board game,” and “paint nights.”
Muttart Conservatory team leader, Sarah Birmingham, says adult night is “an opportunity to come to the Muttart and check out the pavilions without school groups and big tours of people.”
The Muttart Conservatory typically does six to eight floral shows a year, all relegated to the feature pyramid. Because of an upcoming rehabilitation renovation, this year there are only four shows.
Starting July 2, 2019, the Muttart will be closed for 18 months.
Birmingham says, “The Muttart was built in 1976 so this rehab is major.” Most of the reconstruction is to the internal aspects of the Muttart and its back greenhouses to ensure the main plant growing headquarters can produce beautiful works of botany for decades to come.
The Monet’s Garden feature pyramid display will be available until June 2, and then the Muttart will be closed until June 8, while they set up their last feature pyramid show of the year, Mother Earth.
In preparation for their rehabilitation closure, the Muttart is offering spring passes to their guests for $15. These passes can be used for unlimited visits until closure day on July 2, 2019.