Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill Botanic Garden Meld Fine Art and Flowers for Third Annual Flora in Winter

(WORCESTER and BOYLSTON, Mass., January 12, 2005) - 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. 3-6.

At the Worcester Art Museum, visitors are invited to stroll the galleries to admire fresh floral arrangements alongside the works of art that inspired them-from an ancient Greek vessel to Italian masterworks and Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionism. This year, Tower Hill exhibits “Poetic Expressions,” floral arrangements interpreting poems with special meaning to the designers.

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.

Susan Dewey, of Grafton, a member of the Worcester Garden Club who has created floral arrangements for the past two years of Flora in Winter, co-chairs this year's event. She said, “To be able to spend hours trying to see an artist's intent, struggling at times to understand the work's message, thinking what plant material to use, what colors or textures will work-to create something that you hope conveys, in some small way, a feeling that Rembrandt or Homer or Matisse had-can be far more fulfilling than doing an arrangement for a judged show where your design might win a shiny, silver bowl.”

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 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3. The evening features live music, hors d'oeuvres, and a cash bar. Admission to this special reception is $15 and free for Museum and Tower Hill members. Tower Hill presents a candlelight concert with the Cercie Miller Jazz Trio at 7:30PM, Friday, Feb. 4. Tickets for this concert are $25 ($20 for members of Tower Hill and the Worcester Art Museum) and can be reserved by calling (508) 869-6111, ext. 36.

“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 Worcester Art Museum Director James A. 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.”

Viewing hours for Flora in Winter at the Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., are Thursday, Feb. 3, from 11AM to 9PM; Friday, Feb. 4, from 11AM to 5PM; Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10AM to 5PM; and Sunday, Feb. 6, from 11AM to 5PM Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, will be open daily from 10AM to 5PM General admission fees apply at each location. Guided tours are offered at each site, for no additional charge, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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

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.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11AM-5PM, Thursday, 11AM-8PM, and Saturday, 10AM-5PM 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, 10AM-noon. The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass. Free parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum web site at www.worcesterart.org.

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.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, 10AM-5PM 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.

Feb. 3-6, 2005

Flora Euphoria!
Thursday, Feb. 3, 5-9PM
Celebrate Flora in Winter at this evening reception at the Worcester Art Museum with music, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Accent your attire with a touch of flora! Free for Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill members; $15 nonmembers. No RSVP necessary. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester (508) 799-4406 www.worcesterart.org

Candlelight Concert
Friday, Feb. 4, 7:30PM
Jazz saxophonist Cercie Miller performs her unique blend of blues and bebop in Tower Hill's Great Hall. A staple of the Boston jazz scene, Miller has been a pro jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader for nearly 20 years. Tickets are $20 for Tower Hill and Worcester Art Museum members, $25 nonmembers. Call (508) 869-6111, ext. 36. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston www.towerhillbg.org.

Flora Demonstrations
Feb. 4-5, 2 p.m.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden offers floral arranging 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. 36 to reserve. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston www.towerhillbg.org

Friday, Feb. 4: From Traditional to Modern Mass Designs, with Marisa McCoy
Saturday, Feb. 5: Spring Flowers, with Donna McDonald

Poetry Readings
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2PM
The Worcester Poets' Asylum performs original and classic works of poetry at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Free with general admission: $8 adults, $5 seniors and ages 6-18, free for members and children under 6. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, (508) 869-6111, www.towerhillbg.org

Sunday Concert
Sunday, Feb. 6, 3PM
The Choral Arts Group, under the direction of Ian Watson, performs in various spaces of the Worcester Art Museum to provide ambience for the final afternoon 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 www.worcesterart.org