Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-08-05
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Chicago floral designer discusses Grammys role
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

One decade ago, Chicago-based horticulturalist/landscaper Tu Bloom heeded the advice of a mentor: Never be afraid to ask for something, since the worst that can happen is you'll be told no.

Bloom that year had been commissioned to landscape for the president of the Recording Academy. He stole up his courage, and asked to do the floral arrangements for the red carpet leading into the Grammy Awards.

"I thought, 'Wouldn't that be so cool, to be the one who stylizes and helps beautifies the red carpet?' So I asked him," Bloom recalled.

He was given the go-ahead, and within two days was on a plane to Los Angeles to begin work. The upcoming Feb. 10 ceremony marks Bloom's 10th anniversary in the role.

"I always felt that most red carpets were very stagnate and sterile," he explained. "Aside from the celebrities and A-Listers, I always felt the red carpets were too plain and bland. I wanted to bring some glam and glitz in the form of floral [arrangements] that would complement the prestige."

The event takes months of planning, with Recording Academy officials and personnel beginning their preparations a day after the previous year's ceremony. But the immediate weeks leading up to the celebration are especially intense for Bloom, as he must consult with other planners and determine how his flowers can best be integrated with their stylistic concepts and physical limitations.

"It takes several teams of people," he said. "The team that produces the actual red carpet—that puts the red carpet on the actual street—builds [the area] from scratch. … People come in and select the linens and paints. I work around what they select and choose my flowers."

Bloom had the most fun the year he integrated musical notes and sheet music around columns holding the floral centerpieces.

"At the top was a bouquet of red roses, with white stargazer lilies," he recalled. "It took a lot of time to get the perfect files for the musical sheets, to be printed out in appropriate sizes and on vinyl, so the ink wouldn't run. We also reclaimed tempered glass to fill the bottoms of the vases, to refract light. It was like glowing gems."

He usually has budget of about $50,000-65,000 for the flowers, and another $35,000-$50,000 for labor and other costs. The red carpet venue must be taken apart rapidly once the Grammys ceremony begins so that the street can be reopened; the flowers are usually given away to persons who are helping at the event that night, or to Los Angeles-area non-profits.

"I hate to waste," Bloom said. "… We give away all of it."

Bloom has been a lover of flowers and gardening since he was young and living in the Uptown neighborhood. Once his family moved into a house elsewhere, he built a one-and-a-half-car garage-sized greenhouse, ostensibly for his mother, that ultimately became the the site of his business' launch. Besides Chicago and Los Angeles, Bloom has now spearheaded projects in Miami, Key West, London and Paris.

"I know everything about plants and soil composition," he explained. "When I was growing up, it was my hobby and passion. Now I go to residential, commercial and individual properties, and I help beautify interior plantscapes and and exterior landscapes and gardens. I do full-scale design, maintenance and installation as well. We design for every single season."

For more information, see .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Janet Mock, 'Pose,' Joan Jett, Sam Smith, 'Digging Up Dorothy' 2020-08-04 - Transgender writer/director/author Janet Mock is teaming with actor Jeremy Pope ( who has received an Emmy nod for his role in the Ryan ...

Gay News

LGBTQ performers and stories among 2020 Emmy nominations 2020-08-04 - Streaming services and cable networks were well-represented among the Television Academy's 2020 Emmy nominations, which were announced July 28. Netflix led the pack ...

Gay News

MOVIES Reeling taking place virtually Sept. 24-Oct. 4 2020-07-31 - The 38th edition of Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will be held as an online virtual event from Sept. 24-Oct. 4. ...

Gay News

31st Annual GLAAD Awards airs virtually; Lil Nas X, Dolly appear 2020-07-31 - The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards aired virtually July 30. Fortune Feimster and Gina Yashere co-hosted the event. Some celebrities who appeared were ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans teacher, Billy Porter, TGNC home, gay police officer 2020-07-27 - Michigan honored a transgender educator as teacher of the year, LGBTQ Nation reported. The Michigan Department of Education announced at a virtual meeting ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ John Waters, Billy Eichner, 'Trans & Nonbinary Kids Mix,' RuPaul 2020-07-27 - Gay filmmaker John Waters ( Serial Mom; Hairspray ) is the latest face of the French fashion brand Saint Laurent, noted. He ...

Gay News

MOVIES Film probes Chechen's anti-LGBTQ atrocities 2020-07-22 - The Toronto-based LGBT-rights advocacy Rainbow Railroad hosted an online discussion of the HBO documentary Welcome to Chechnya on July 16. That film, which ...

Gay News

Studio Responsibility Index reveals mix of high, low numbers 2020-07-22 - GLAAD released its eighth annual Studio Responsibility Index ( SRI )—a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ characters in ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Seth Rudetsky, LGBTQ films, Janelle Monae, trans singer 2020-07-13 - Norm Lewis, Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson will join the line-up of talent slated to participate in The Seth Concert Series—the weekly virtual ...

Gay News

Welbon invited to join Motion Picture Academy 2020-07-09 - Local Black lesbian filmmaker Yvonne Welbon was among the 819 artists and executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.