WORCESTER — There are still travel restrictions with the pandemic, and even in late February, spring seems like another world away.
But this year’s “Flora in Winter” from Feb. 25 to 28 presented by the Worcester Art Museum may be just the ticket out of the gloom and away into rich and artistic full blooms that you can enjoy and view — from home.
For the first time, “Flora in Winter” will have a vital virtual component, “Passport to Virtual Flora.”
Now in its 19th year, “Flora in Winter” is one of the Worcester Art Museum’s most popular events, displaying flower arrangements inspired by art in the museum’s collection and created by top floral designers from throughout Central Massachusetts
Once again, or perhaps now more than ever, there has been keen anticipation.
“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response for the upcoming event. People are looking for something beautiful to experience in a safe environment,” said Sandra Polanik, manager of events and hospitality at WAM.
Due to COVID-related capacity restrictions this winter, a limited number of tickets to enjoy Flora in person will be available for museum members only. However, “Passport to Virtual Flora” will be a virtual guided tour of all 24 interpretive arrangements throughout the museum and provide unlimited access to an array of online programing for the duration of the event and beyond.
“Passport to Virtual Flora” is free for WAM members and $40 for nonmembers. Following completion of advance purchase, guests will receive “Passport to Virtual Flora” links via email on the first day of “Flora in Winter” at 10 a.m. Feb. 25. “Passport to Virtual Flora” will be on sale through 6 p.m. Feb. 28. In addition, “Worcester in Bloom,” a virtual community exhibition of Flora-inspired paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, mixed media pieces, and written short stories or poems, is available online until Feb. 28.
As for the in-person visits by WAM members, “we expect a sold-out event!” Polanik said. The museum will be closed on Feb. 24 to prepare and open only to members on Feb. 25-28
For more information about all the offerings and options, visit www.worcesterart.org.
Polanik plans and organizes “Flora in Winter” along with staff members and three volunteer co-chairs — Kim Cutler, Kathy Michie and Sarah Ribeiro, all members of the Worcester Garden Club.
“We knew moving forward with the event, we would have to pivot to virtual programs,” Polanik said. “We have taken a very creative approach in planning Flora to ensure it will have the depth and educational appeal it deserves.”
“This year we had our wrap-up meeting less than a week after we picked up our flowers from the old show.” said Michie.
“We had our first meeting to plan the new event in mid-March of 2020, and this meeting was already off-site. The museum was closed. By June we were talking about pre-recording the demonstrations. Sandra was totally determined. We give her all the credit for…