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  • Flora in Winter Emerges as Perennial Treat for Visitors to Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill Botanic Garden

    (WORCESTER and BOYLSTON, Mass., January 9, 2004) - Two Central Massachusetts cultural institutions collaborate once again to present Flora in Winter, a creative interplay of fine art and floral design, on view at the Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Feb. 5-8.

    At the Worcester Art Museum, visitors may stroll the galleries to admire 22 fresh floral arrangements alongside the works of art that inspired them-from ancient Roman sculpture and Impressionist landscapes to a Norman Rockwell painting. Tower Hill exhibits arrangements relating to the theme of “Emotions,” offering profound and surprising interpretations of flowers echoing the human experience.

    Garden club members and floral designers from throughout Massachusetts have volunteered to create the floral arrangements. Local professional florists have selected public spaces at the Worcester Art Museum to adorn in flowers.

    “Working in the medium of flowers and other plant materials, these talented designers are able to create temporary arrangements that capture the color, texture, form and mood of permanent works of art,” said Worcester Art Museum Director James A. Welu.

    Throughout the four-day exhibition, each venue features related programming, special events, and extended Café hours. Flora Euphoria!, an opening celebration at the Worcester Art Museum, kicks off the festivities from 5 to 9p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5. Tower Hill hosts a candlelight cabaret performance by Jan Peters on Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:30p.m. At both locations, visitors can join in daily guided tours, and Tower Hill presents lectures and demonstrations at 2 p.m. each day.

    “Flora in Winter creates a perfect opportunity for visitors to discover and enjoy the Museum's rich collection of art spanning 5,000 years,” said Welu. “With these beautiful arrangements tucked in all corners of the Museum, we invite people to take their time exploring and admiring the art and flora in each gallery.”

    From 1988-1991, the Worcester Art Museum and Worcester County Horticultural Society, before its move to Tower Hill, collaborated on a similar program, titled “A Tribute to Flora.” Last February, the program was reintroduced as Flora in Winter. More than 3,500 people visited during the four-day event.

    Viewing hours for Flora in Winter at the Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., are Thursday, Feb. 5, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission fees apply at each location.

    Flora in Winter is sponsored by Flagship Bank. Additional generous support has been provided by WCRB Classical 102.5 FM Boston.

    Flora Euphoria!
    Thursday, Feb. 5, 5-9 p.m.
    Celebrate Flora in Winter at this evening reception with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Tours depart from Salisbury Hall at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Accent your attire with a touch of flora! Free for Worcester Art Museum members; $10 for Tower Hill members, and $15 nonmembers. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester (508) 799-4406.

    Candlelight Concert
    Friday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.
    Award-winning cabaret artist Jan Peters performs “Old Fashioned, Please!” in Tower Hill's Great Hall. Come early for cocktails and to view the floral arrangements. Gate opens at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Tower Hill and Worcester Art Museum members, $25 nonmembers. Call (508) 869-6111, ext. 36, to reserve. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston www.towerhillbg.org.

    Sunday Concert
    Sunday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m.
    Enjoy a performance by The Choral Arts Group, under the direction of Ian Watson, in the Worcester Art Museum's Renaissance Court while you explore the fine art and flora on the last day of Flora in Winter. Free with Museum admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors/students with ID, free for members and ages 17 and under. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester (508) 799-4406.

    Flora Lectures/Demonstrations
    Feb. 5-8, 2 p.m.
    Tower Hill Botanic Garden offers daily slide lectures and demonstrations during Flora in Winter. Tickets are $5 for Tower Hill and Worcester Art Museum members and $7 for nonmembers, in addition to general admission. Limited seating. Call (508) 869-6111 ext. 24 to reserve. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston www.towerhillbg.org

    · Thursday, Feb. 5: Contemporary Design With Tropical and Exotic Flowers, by Donna McDonald
    · Friday, Feb. 6: Flower Arranging Can Be Fun!, with Tina Rovina Bemis
    · Saturday, Feb. 7: The Rose, Queen of Flowers, a lecture by Esther Czekalski
    · Sunday, Feb. 8: Framing the Picture: Hedges in the Garden, with Sally McGuire Muspratt

    About the Worcester Art Museum
    The Worcester Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1898, is world-renowned for its 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings and new media. The works span 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from ancient Roman mosaics to Colonial silver, Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Dedicated to the promotion of art and art education, the Museum offers a year-round studio art and art appreciation program that enrolls over 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Public tours are offered Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., September through May. Audio tours are also available in English and Spanish.

    Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (evening hours sponsored by Commerce Bank), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and full-time college students with current ID, and FREE for Members and all youth 17 and under. Admission is also FREE for everyone on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon (sponsored by The TJX Companies, Inc. and Massachusetts Electric, a National Grid Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Free parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.

    About Tower Hill Botanic Garden
    A tranquil refuge to delight the eye, expand the mind, nurture the soul and commune with the natural world, Tower Hill Botanic Garden is a year-round living museum of plants. Tower Hill is owned and operated by the Worcester County Horticultural Society, founded in 1842, with its mission to “advance the science and encourage and improve the practice of horticulture.” The 132-acre site features formal and informal style gardens, a 4000-square foot Orangerie (greenhouse), meadows, woodland trails and a panoramic view of Mt. Wachusett and the Wachusett reservoir to the west. More than 60,000 visitors annually partake of Tower Hill's beauty, and several thousand participate in educational classes and programs offered by Tower Hill staff and invited lecturers.

    Tower Hill Botanic Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18), and FREE for Members and children under 6. Tower Hill is located at 11 French Drive, Boylston, Mass., exit 24 off Route 290. Free parking. For more information, call (508) 869-6111, or visit the Garden's website at www.towerhillbg.org.