Red Butte Garden hosting ‘Blooming with Pride’

New “Blooming with Pride” Event: Plants Are for Everyone

Red Butte Garden announced a new Pride Month event that invites the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to unite and celebrate the rich beauty and diversity of the natural world.

The garden invites those in the community to immerse themselves in the vibrant colors of nature at Blooming with Pride and to witness a living art display as the Garden comes alive with vibrant blooms and plant arrangement installations created by local florists, horticulturists, and artists.

Among the event’s highlights is a showcase of artistic floral and plant displays created by local artists and florists. The seven exhibits on display were selected from more than 45 proposals submitted by artists nationwide. Each exhibit represents the diverse experiences within the LGBTQIA+ community, showcasing that, like plants, love and diversity thrive in all shades and forms.

Key objectives for selecting the artists included capturing the vibrant spirit of Pride, showcasing the beauty of plants, and designing displays that engage and inspire.

During the event, guests can also engage in family-friendly activities including craft projects, on-the-go science experiments, and a self-guided nature walk, as well as drop in to free health and wellness classes. The Garden’s Courtyard will also transform into a Unity Hub tabling space featuring local organizations that support and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community.  

The event will be held Friday, June 14. As a way of thanking their community and welcoming everyone to join in the festivities, admission to Blooming with Pride is free from noon to 8 p.m. A timed registration is required at redbuttegarden.org/events/blooming-with-pride/.

Artist Bios:

ALYSSA CUMPTON — A self-taught artist who happened to get both a Criminal Justice and Fine Arts degrees on her way through college at Boise State. She works as a professional muralist and traveling sidewalk chalk artist and has competed in many events across the West. Alyssa has also worked in the landscaping industry for over a decade, a career that has fostered her love of gardening and plants. Her work is inspired by many trips hiking and exploring the country. She lives down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere with her dog, chickens, and, yes, eight cats.

BEKAH OGAN — We wither, we bloom. The cycles of nature have always felt soothing to me. I’ve been a floral designer for almost 10 years. I take inspiration from the creative world around me. When creating, I incorporate the emotions and visuals I receive from my favorite musicians, artists, and films. I take colors that have certain moods to me and combine with them a flower’s unique quality or sentimental value to evoke the emotion I want to portray. My artistic style is textured and whimsical, and I’m always looking for a way to draw a person in. One of my favorite events I contribute to yearly is “Art in Bloom” in downtown Ogden, where floral designers create displays inspired by local artists’ contributions. I have competed for several years and have won the People’s Choice Award in 2021, Honors in 2022 for my dried botanical work, and then came in Second Place in 2023 with my interpretation of Big Kid
Medicine. I find comfort in flowers; one of the best things about them is how they are with you throughout your entire life–yet they have such a short life span. Every day, I use flowers to inspire and uplift others and myself.

COREY KIMZEY — My art journey started by making presents for other people. I was a student majoring in statistics and struggled with some mental health issues, so I started making felt book pages as gifts. Making them brought me joy, and I loved seeing the happiness they brought others. This project led me to explore creative ventures like poetry writing, macrame, wood carving, flower sculptures, and many more. I love exploring all artistic mediums, but I especially love projects involving nature or natural elements. I am genuinely grateful for what art has brought into my life. I’ve also always been interested in how art and math combine. I especially love exploring how shapes and patterns can be used in creative projects. Even as a child, I always added patterns to my art homework. Math and art often go hand in hand. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am truly honored to present at Red Butte Garden’s Blooming with Pride Event.

KAT NIX — Floral designer, artist, herbalist, death doula, and the owner of Ritual in Bloom, a floral business that centers rituals and intentionality in floral design. In her business, she explores the relationship between moon cycles, ancestral knowledge, rituals, and the subtle yet powerful wisdom flowers share. Kat has a degree in Urban Ecology and a minor in Multidisciplinary Design from the University of Utah. She also mentors Latinx teens and is the Public Art Program Manager for the Salt Lake City Arts Council. All these experiences have fueled Kat’s love for art, community, and creating immersive installations.
With deep gratitude for the resiliency, love, and guidance of her ancestors and plantcestors, Kat is devoted to continuing to be a student of curanderismo and end-of-life work, exploring the relationship between the medicine and magic that flowers provide as we navigate transitional spaces.

MAL STRUNK — I’m known for my big, bold, bright floral designs. I am a Utah native who loves locally grown and sustainable flowers. There is something magical about creating with what’s blooming and capturing the exact time and place you’re in. I’ve been creating all my life, but the medium of flowers found me 4 years ago. Flowers were a refuge during my darkest days. Floral design came so naturally to me, and I’ve been in awe, watching my artistry bloom as I find myself again. In the past 4 years, I’ve gone through such a transformation and have even come out to my family and begun to live my most authentic life. Putting myself and my artistry out there is so difficult at times and more rewarding than anything I’ve ever experienced. Last summer, I won a national competition for Florists’ Review magazine—Best in Bloom. I have designed weddings, events, personalized photoshoots, crowns for newborns, and so much more. This will be my third year designing an 8-foot-tall floral arch in the shape of Utah for Utah Flower Day. Giving back to my community, especially my LGBTQIA+ family, is incredibly important. Seeing humans of all ages revel in the magic of flowers brings me joy! I am so excited to create my installation for the Blooming with Pride event and celebrate our incredible queer community.

MEGAN FOOTE — a queer, disabled, and autistic artist from West Jordan, Utah. She loves working with various mediums, but some of her favorites are clay and paint. She has also recently worked heavily with digital mediums and enjoys exploring new techniques. Megan loves incorporating symbolism and “easter eggs” into her pieces and often explores themes of sexuality, politics, and identity through her craft. Creating works of art is her personal way of processing her thoughts and feelings and building an understanding of the world around her. This is Megan’s first art installation and her professional artistic debut.

LYA YANG — Visual artist born and raised in Salt Lake City by immigrant parents. They received a BFA from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing. They have since worked in various visual mediums, including sculpture, installation, and photography.

The event is co-presented with Equality Utah and supported by the B. W. Bastian Foundation and Magelby, Cataxinos, Greenwood.

For more information and to register, visit redbuttegarden.org/events/blooming-with-pride/

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