Friday, March 8, 2019

FTD World Cup at Philadelphia Flower Show: 23 International Florists Showcase Their Artistry

Australia’s Bart Hassam, Interflora World Cup Champion at the 2019 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.
By Jill Brooke

If anyone doubts that florists are artists, then visit the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show.
You will be dazzled by the creativity florists from 23 countries used to create sculptural sensations using flowers. 

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest flower show in the country. In a building measuring ten acres, there are many enticing examples of jaw-dropping displays ranging from event planning arrangements to paintings created out of flower petals.

The big event this year is the FTD World Cup 2019.  For the first time since 1985, this competition, which brings together the world’s top floral designers, was held in the United States.

Australia’s Bart Hassam was declared the Interflora World Cup Champion at the 2019 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.  This is the floral equivalent of winning an Oscar. A jury of certified, international floral design judges determined Hassam ’s designs in several categories were the best among a group of world-class competitors.
Mr. Hassam creating his floral masterpiece. Photo: Vanessa H. Smith
The Australian floral designer competed live on stage against four other finalists, hailing from Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Russia, in the last round of competition. First runner-up went to Russia’s Natalia Zhisko, while Tamás Mezőffy of Hungary finished third out of 23 total competitors, each of whom won national competitions to be the representative of their respective home countries.

Here are some of the winning artists. Enjoy.
Hungary’s Tamas Mezoffy
Russia’s Natalia Zhizhko
Finland’s Pirjo Koppi. Photo: Vanessa H. Smith
Czech Republic’s Premysl Hytych
China’s Wei Yao
England’s Laura Leong
Canada’s Paul Jaras
Chinese Taipei Kevin Lee
Although the United States contestant Katharina Stuart didn’t win, I really liked her fresh approach to design.
However, my personal favorite – Mexico (pictured below) – wasn’t among the winners either.

As Leo Tolstoy famously stated: "Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.”
Since these sculptures were only a part of the competition, here are a few spectacular bouquets to ooh and aah over.
All of these people are masters in their field and worthy of respect and admiration.
Jill Brooke is the founder of Flower Power With Jill, the first daily floral news site.