By Jen Crager
re you looking for a ‘stay-cation’ for spring break this year? Don’t forget to add R.W. Norton Art Gallery to your agenda. “Springtime at the Norton is always such a happy time,” said Emily Feazel, Designer of Exhibits and Special Events. “The botanical gardens bloom with every color under the sun, kids and families enjoy picnics and walks, and inside the museum, the collection and exhibitions are blooming.”
The beauty of springtime at R.W. Norton Art Gallery is a yearly attraction for visitors, when the azaleas are a dazzling show of white, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, and bi-colored blooms. The 40 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and botanical gardens, with winding paths and small ponds and streams, draw thousands of visitors each spring. “There are things blooming all the time, but springtime is really when the botanical gardens shine,” Feazel said. “And it’s so wonderful to have such a gem right in the heart of the city where you feel like you’re not in the middle of the hustle and bustle. It’s somewhere to escape with your family or your children or friends and just take a nice, quiet walk through the gardens. It’s really special.”
In keeping with the spring theme of the gardens, the Norton presents its annual BLOOM! Exhibit, which is open now and runs through May 8. The juried competition invites artists from around the world to submit a floral-themed piece for display. “We have an open call for artists. This year we had 294 submissions from 14 different countries across the world, and we picked 51 of the pieces to be exhibited,” Feazel said. By showcasing pieces from various artists around the world, including Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Great Britain, the BLOOM! Exhibit displays beautifully rendered versions of flora from a variety of interpretations and perspectives.
Beginning in April, the Norton will present Twilight Talkies on the first Friday of every month through November, with free, family friendly movies shown on the front lawn. Twilight Talkies kicks off April 1 with a showing of The Incredibles. “This is our fifth year to do the movie series,” Feazel said. “It’s a fun way to help the community and give families a safe space to enjoy time with each other. The kids can run around and have a great time before the movie… bring out a soccer ball or a football and just enjoy time outside.” Food trucks and other activities will be available, just bring blankets or chairs to sit back and enjoy a movie under the stars. All movies begin at dusk.
Also for children beginning in April, Backyard Books will take place every other Friday. The popular program has story times and various activities, like scavenger hunts through the gardens, for young children and their parents or caregivers to enjoy together. Tickets are required and sell out quickly, so be sure to visit the museum’s website for more information. “The Norton is extremely family-friendly,” Feazel said. “We encourage families to bring children from a very young age, so they become a part of the Norton family and become museum lovers.”
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