Almost 1750 entries from 970 artists of 14 countries were submitted to Blossom I. Blossom I premiered at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on St. Patrick’s Day of 2007. Blossom I recognized achievement and diversity in floral art produced between 2004 and 2006, with 62 artworks selected for the premiere exhibit and 55 selected to tour to eight venues nationwide thereafter. Encouraged by Blossom I, and the opportunity for recognition, not to mention generous awards offered by the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation, nearly 1,350 artists from 35 countries submitted some 2,300 entries for the sequel of Blossom I. Blossom II recognizes achievement and diversity in floral art produced between 2008 and 2010. Blossom II, which contains 100 works of art, premiered at the Naples Museum of Art on February 1, 2011. At the time that this catalogue went to press, the Blossom II traveling exhibition, consisting of 50 artworks, was scheduled for display at six venues nationwide with the possibility that more might be added later.
In the summer of 2004, the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation adopted a proposal to sponsor an international competition and exhibition entitled Blossom ~ Art of Flowers to survey, recognize, and showcase achievement and diversity in floral art produced early in the twenty-first century because there were no competitions or exhibitions that surveyed contemporary floral art in the broad sense, though there were regular competitions and exhibitions sponsored by organizations of botanical illustrators, noteworthy exhibitions of historical floral painting and, of course, other themed-exhibitions featuring animals, birds, and national parks, for example, which contained some floral imagery.