Dreaming of warmer spring days? You’re in luck: the National Cherry Blossom Festival is slated to return next year, and plans for the iconic festival — including its art — are being unveiled now.
The cold weather is upon us, but for those who want to think ahead, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has announced early plans for the 2024 edition of the iconic springtime celebration, held this year from March 20 to April 14.
“While so many of us are largely focused on the holidays, everyone at the National Cherry Blossom Festival is beginning our official countdown to spring,” says Lauren Boland, director of marketing and communications for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. “During our launch event, we had the opportunity to share our official artwork, which is a really important theme and visual representation of what the festival means.”
Long-time Washington, D.C. resident Nicolas F. Shi was named the 2024 official artist. Born in El Salvador from Chinese parents, Shi came to the U.S. in 1980, and his work employs pop cubism, utilizing geometric shapes to represent everyday objects and popular culture imagery. He work mixes the bright colors of Central America with the harmony and simplicity of traditional Chinese painting and the boldness found in contemporary American art.
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“I tried to portray the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms in a bright, fun and colorful way,” Shi says. “By breaking down the complex architectural details of the Washington Monument and the delicate beauty of the cherry blossoms into geometric forms, I was able to create a contemporary and fun interpretation of these iconic figures.”
Over the rest of 2023, festival organizers will be promoting the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and it offers plenty of merchandise available for the holidays to get people in the cherry blossom mood.
“We’re also going to be sharing announcements over the next few weeks about exciting new components to many of the events our community knows and loves,” Boland says. “We always want to make sure we are creating new and fresh events and opportunities throughout the festival, but also staying true to what people love to come back for in celebrating the cherry blossoms with us.”
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With the season, peak bloom is considered 70% of the iconic blossoms opening on the Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin and the full blooming period lasts from several days to up to two weeks, depending on weather conditions.
As it does every year, the events planned for this year’s festival features diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty and community spirit.
“Every year, thousands of visitors come to the nation’s capital to welcome spring in the most joyous way through the National Cherry Blossom Festival,” says Diana Mayhew, president and CEO of the notable event. “Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the blooming cherry trees, the 2024 Festival will be one to remember, as we celebrate the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan through art, culture, performances and more.”
The National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place March 20 to April 14, 2024. Stay tuned for more details to be announced. For more information about the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visit NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org and follow @CherryBlossFest. Learn more about Nicolas F. Shi’s work by visiting nicolasfshi.com.
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