Celebrating its 40th year, Art Alive at The San Diego Museum of Art is a wonderful community tradition rooted from passion and creativity for fine art and flowers. We invite the region’s top tier floral designers to create thought-provoking and elegantly crafted arrangements, all inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection.

This year, Floral Designers have the opportunity to participate in three ways:

  • In person with a live floral arrangement at the Museum
  • Virtually with a floral interpretation shared online as part of Virtual Art Alive
  • Both with a floral interpretation presented at the Museum and shared as part of Virtual Art Alive

We look forward to welcoming you to the Art Alive 2021 Floral Design Exhibition!

Questions? Please contact Geordyn Coker, Development and Membership Coordinator, at GCoker@sdmart.org.


Please review the new downloadable Guidelines packet carefully. This packet includes all the necessary information that will help you navigate the application process.

Guidelines (Download PDF)


Please submit 3 JPG images of your recent professional floral design work that best exemplify the body of work as a floral designer. We want to get to know designers better while taking a more objective and inclusive approach in our reviewing process. Please review the downloadable PDF below for more information.

Work Sample Submission (Download PDF)

Important Dates to Remember When Applying*

The Art Alive Floral Design Exhibition is a participatory program that requires your detailed attention and mandatory virtual and/or in-person attendance. Please review the following dates carefully and make a note. 

*Dates subject to change

Friday, January 8

Floral Designer Application opens

Friday, February 26

Floral Designer Application due by 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15

Selection Day time slots assigned via email

Wednesday, March 31

Floral Designer Selection Day | 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (by assigned phone call)

Friday, April 30

Designer Worksheet due by 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 3

Installation Day time slots assigned via email

Thursday, June 17

Installation Day | 7:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (by assigned appointment)

Friday, June 18

Members’ Preview | 8:00–10:00 a.m.
Open to the Public | 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 19

Floral Designer Refresh Time | 7:00–8:00 a.m.
Members’ Preview | 8:00–10:00 a.m.
Open to the Public | 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 20

Floral Designer Refresh Time | 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Open to the Public | 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Monday, April 27

Floral Designer Pick Up Time | 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.


How is the artwork selected for Art Alive?

The Museum’s registrar team is responsible for choosing the works of art that are available for interpretation. Only works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection are used.

Why does the Museum make restrictions on materials, arrangements size, and provide a table?

The Museum prohibits certain materials that may harbor insects destructive to the artwork. The height and width restrictions on all floral arrangements are also to ensure safe spacing to avoid any damage to artwork in case an arrangement is knocked over or spills over.

Why does the Museum need a detailed sketch of my design, and a list of materials?

The Museum docents are provided with bound catalogues of your worksheets to share with the public. In addition, should the Museum Exhibitions staff have any concerns or questions regarding your design or materials proposed, there is enough time to make adjustments prior to your installation.

What if I cannot call in during my selection time slot on Selection Day?

You may appoint a “proxy” to make your selection. The selection that your proxy makes on your behalf is binding.

What if my final design is different than my submitted worksheet?

Your design must match your arrangement for final approval on Installation Day. Docents will be on hand during installation to make edits on your worksheet to reflect minor changes in materials or construction. Please know that you are to adhere to all specifications. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in alteration or removal.

May I come before Art Alive to look at my selected painting or object?

Yes. More information will be provided via email in order to comply with the most updated COVID-19 regulations being observed. Additional guests will not be permitted to enter.

What is the Museum's response to COVID-19?

All staff and visitors are required to wear face masks, follow physical distancing guidelines, and pass a non-invasive temperature screening to gain entry into the Museum. Please see the Museum’s reopening guidelines and COVID-19 updates for the latest information.

What if I cannot refresh my arrangement during designated hours?

For safety and crowd control, we can only allow designers to bring water or materials into the galleries during non-public hours. You will not be allowed to come at any other time, and unsightly or dry arrangements may be removed by Museum staff.

How do I become a Legacy Designer?

Legacy Designer is a special title given to Floral Designers who have gone above and beyond in supporting Art Alive and participated for 20 years and more. The Floral Design Selection Committee makes the final decision as to who will be listed as a Legacy Designer.

What is the Member’s Choice Award?

At our Member’s Previews on Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m., members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite arrangement. Guest Passes are not valid for this event.

Do I need to use my guest passes to gain entrance to the Museum during Art Alive?

No. You will be given a special badge to wear throughout the weekend. This provides you admission during nonpublic hours for refreshing your arrangement, admission during public hours for viewing the galleries, and entry to both Members’ Previews. The guest passes are yours to distribute to friends, family, or colleagues.

Where is the best place to park?

Please park in any of Balboa Park’s parking lots. There are several handicap parking spots behind the Museum on Old Globe Way in front of the San Diego Zoo employee parking garage—but these fill up quickly. Designers will be allowed to park behind the Museum along Old Globe Way near the Botanical Building at the start of their time slot to unload on Installation Day only. Cars must be moved to another parking lot before designers will be allowed into the Museum to install their arrangements.