An Outdoor Pop-Up in Griffith Park Is Helping Bees One Selfie at a Time

BloomLA is boosting bee awareness

A new pop-up art experience, BloomLA, is to flowers what the Museum of Ice Cream was to frozen treats, but that’s where the similarities end. The new interactive art installation is around for a single weekend—Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24—and instead of a warehouse, it takes place on a grassy field in Griffith Park. Yes, the selfie ops abound. Attendees can pose with pinwheel poppies, cover themselves in rose petals, “soak” in a tub full of lavender, and lots more. For an additional fee, attendees can try their hands at garden-themed craft projects, like succulent terrariums, painted flower pots, and real flower crowns.

Stephanie Domzalski, Bloom Art’s cofounder and CEO, says she and a longtime friend April Wish came up with the idea after visiting other pop-up activations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and noticing that the exhibits felt manufactured. “All of the other pop-ups were indoors, and they’re kind of a guided experience. You move from room to room, and you can’t go back and re-experience an installation if you enjoyed it, which is totally fine, but it’s just not the model we wanted to use.”

She and Wish both find it rejuvenating to spend time in nature, so it was important to them that their own pop-up be set outside. Domzalski says, “We started having this amazing conversation about inviting people to really sit and appreciate the beauty that we have right now, because that’s all we’ve got—this present moment.”

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While not all the flowers that make up BloomLA are real, the event emphasizes its connection to nature by including a #BeetheChange exhibit to raise awareness of honeybees and how important they are to pollination. They partnered with HoneyLove, a nonprofit conservation organization focused on urban beekeeping.

Paul Hekimian, HoneyLove’s director says, “If we can educate everyone that comes through that bees are friendly and they’re not aggressive, and that you can keep bees in Los Angeles, then we’re doing our job.” Hekimian wants people to understand, “These are living, breathing animals and they need to be protected.” He shared three simple ways people can help bees: 1.) Don’t use pesticides in your garden; 2.) Provide a water source, like a fountain or water feature, for bees; 3.) Plant bee-friendly plants.

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BloomLA tickets include an arrival time, but visitors can stay as long as they like. Various events, including live music, are happening throughout the weekend. Once you’ve explored, Domzalski suggests visiting one of the food trucks and having a picnic in the park. She adds, “We’re trying to create a really positive, communal, outdoor atmosphere.”

This is Bloom Art’s inaugural event, but they hope to create similar experiences elsewhere in the future, working with local artists to celebrate what makes each city unique. Domalski says, “For BloomLA, all of our artists—musicians, painters, floral designers, and carpenters—live and work in the L.A. area, and many of our pieces are inspired by Southern California flora.” If you want to check it out, get tickets now. This exhibit is as temporary as the flowers that inspired it, and it’ll all be gone after Sunday.

BloomLA is located in the grassy area between Travel Town and the L.A. Live Steamers Railroad Museum in Griffith Park. Tickets are $25, and free for children under 3.

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