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American Floral Art School

America's International School
634 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605-1808
Phone: 312-922-9328
Fax: 312-922-9329
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
Please call or write the school for a complete catalog and class schedule.

[curriculum] [calendar] [staff] [application form]

"Happiness held is the seed...
happiness shared is the flower."

Mission Statement

-For 66 years we have committed ourselves to the teaching of basic and advanced floral design. The interests of our students and our long-term commitment to them always comes first. We seek to constantly provide the latest information on modern floral quality teaching.


-The American Floral Art School is America's leading school offering intensive floral training. Beginning students receive practcal instruction in the best modern floral design used by leading florists. They use great quantities of fresh flowers and foliages in practice work supervised by experts and talented teachers.

Beginners need the right start. It is amazing how much can be learned in just three weeks of expert training. Thousands of beginning florists have profited from this intensive basic instructionl. The school's workshops are operated as much as possible like the workrooms of leading flower shops, giving the students 3 weeks of concentrated experience and allowing them to get their first job as a beginning designer. Established florists can learn modern methods, profitable new ideas, efficient shortcuts, and greater artistry. They gain important self-confidence and find the training a profitable investment.

The American Floral Art School is known around the world for its superior methods; its quick and effective results. More than 18,000 florist students have profited from this valuable training during the school's 66 years. Ambitious people wanting the best in florist training have come to this school from all parts of the U.S., Canada, and 51 other countries. It is highly recommended by leading florists who have sent several employees to school; 4 from a Florida flower shop, 7 from an Illinois shop, and 9 from a florist in Ohio. The school has trained ambitious students of all ages...from 10 to 84! The school has trained many second and even some third generation students.

The school has excellent equipment. The comfortable seats with tablet arms in the lecture area are arranged in tiers for better vision during the lecture-demonstrations and critiquing sessions. All teaching is done with visual props including an adult casket for showing funeral bouquets. Students enjoy the two sychronized slide projectors, adding additional depth to the teaching and helping to cover much information during the lectures. An excellent library of periodicals, photographs, video tapes, and over 5,000 books are available for the students to use. Everthing is planned to help the student advance quickly and easily. The school is located in downtown Chicago, near famous Michigan Avenue and the beautiful lakefront. It is convenient to many hotels, numerous restaurants, rapid transit elevated and subway trains, bus lines, railway stations and airline offices. Pleasant background music is provided during the work periods. Equipment and supplies at the individual work tables are convenient for utmost efficiency as seen in modern workrooms.


The Curriculum

-Three weeks of intensified professional training, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 108 clock hours. 350 page textbook-"Commercial & Creative Design". Valuable information on flower shop management, buying, mark-up, sales promotion and keeping quality of flowers is covered but the emphasis is always upon practical floral designing.

After watching the teacher demonstrate each design with complete explanation of every detail, students make the same design, or variations of it, at their work table. Each student gets valuable practice in making all types of pratical floral work-from the smallest hair decoration to the most elaborate wedding bouquets and casket sprays-always working with fresh flowers and foliages. The two teachers are ready to guide and assist. The highly successful methods of instruction at the American Floral Art School stress the principles of basic design underlying all floral work. It is not just a series of lessons on how to make different floral items. For instance, the instruction on funeral wreaths also applies to novelty Christmas wreaths; a double casket spray and some large centerpieces have the same basic construction; a hair decoration, a prayer book design and a certain type of bridal bouquet have the same basic design.


2003 School Calendar and Tuition

-Complete courses in professional floral designing are concentrated into three week, two week, or one week classes for beginners.
January 6-24 (three weeks)
February 24-March 7 two weeks
March 10-March 21(two weeks)
June 9-27(three weeks)
July 7-18(two weeks)
July 21-25(one week)
August 4-22(three weeks)
September 8-26(three weeks)
September 29-October 10(two weeks)
October 13-17(one week)

The total tuition fees are U.S. $800.00 for the three week class, $650.00 for the two week class, $350.00 for the one week class, which include the very ample quantity of fresh flowers, foliages, and all other materials and complete textbook used in classroom practice.

Application fee of U.S. $50.00 is payable with the application to hold a place in the class of choice, which is applied to the total. Payments may be made by cash, check (U.S. bank), or travelers check (in U.S. dollars). Credit cards are not accepted.

The two week professional class is a condensed version of the standard three week professional course with reduced lectures and workshop projects.

The one week class is an exposure/hobby course and contains no funeral work. Students take home many of their class floral projects.


School Staff

-James Moretz AIFD, Director, has an impressive background of well-rounded academic training and years of practical and varied flower shop experience. He actively directs the American Floral Art School and supervises the intensive training. As assistant director for 15 years, he helped develop the unique and highly successful teaching methods that make the school world renowned.

A graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S. Degree in Floriculture and Business Administration, Jim is a member of Phi Alpha Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta, honorary fraternities in floriculture and science. He is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and is a professional floral photographer. He regularly contributes photographs and articles on floral design to several national and international trade magazines. He is also the owner of an extensive library on floral design and art.

Jim has traveled extensively to many European and Asian countries to visit former students and to observe successful florist practices. He has been honored as a judge for many floral design competitions. He has presented lecture-demonstrations in Canada, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as the U.S. He opened branches of the school in Taipei, Taiwan and Shanghai, China. Jim has authored five books on floral design including "Commercial and Creative Design."

-Peter Samek AIFD, Assistant Director, is a talented floral designer with many years of practical shop experience. With degrees in floriculture and greenhouse management from Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL. Peter brings much valuable training and experience to the school's staff.

Prior to joining the school he served as design manager of one of Chicago's leading multiple stores and was an instructor in basic floral design at Joliet Junior College. Additional experience was gained from working at other Chicago-area stores. Between teaching classes in Chicago and the Orient, he keeps busy free-lancing at several leading florists.

Peter was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designersd in 1991. He served as student advisor for the SAIFD Chapter at Joliet Junior College. He has participated in various wholesale, state, industry suppliers, and garden club design programs. He has designed for various floral art exhibitions at museums in Champaign, IL and Madison, WI. Peter's great ability as a skilled florist, combined with his pleasing personality, makes him a popular teacher at the American Floral Art School.

School History

-The school was started in Chicago in 1937 by Mrs. Ethel (Tommy) Bright as Bright's School of Floral Design.The school trained hundreds of young veterans after the war. As assistant director for Tommy, Willam (Bill) Kistler changed the name to American Floral Art School in 1951, when he became the 2nd director. During his 36 years of teaching, Bill trained over 15,000 florists, more than any other teacher in the world. Until his death in 1981, Bill's dedicated teaching, extensive travels and floral collections made this school world-famous, a reputation being continued through the present staff.


For more complete information and the school's catalog, please contact the American Floral Art School at: 634 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 210, Chicago, IL 60605-1808 or call 312-922-9328, Office hours are: Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
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