Valentine's Day is almost here -- a day for hearts, flowers and all things sentimental.

These include silhouettes, those cut-out paper figures that were all the rage from 1790-1840 when Joel Spalding and his family lived in the historic Spalding House, 383 Pawtucket St., Lowell.

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust owns the manse now and hosts a Valentine's Open House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2-4 p.m. Visitors will be treated to an exhibit of silhouettes from the collection, plus a special Colonial "undergarments" exhibit on display in the bedroom.

All are invited to attend, enjoy refreshments, learn interesting facts about silhouettes and underwear, and take home a silhouette of themselves or their kids. Visit Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust's Facebook page for info.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is


AT FAM: Fitchburg Art Museum presents "Broad Strokes: American Painting from the Late 19th and 20th Centuries from the FAM Collection." On view Feb. 9-Sept. 1, the exhibition explores a dynamic period in American painting in the late 19th into early 20th centuries. It explores significant stylistic shifts and artistic developments that were catalyzed by drastic social changes in post-Civil War America, including major events like World War I and the Great Depression. A variety of artists is represented, from Georgia O'Keeffe to Fitchburg artist Constance Bigelow. Visit for details.


TECH AND ART: UMass Lowell's Department of Art and Design, hosting the 404 Festival of Art & Technology through March 5, presents several events this week in conjunction with the festival. Fest founder Gina Valenti is on hand for the events. On Thursday, Feb. 7, Valenti presides over performances and animation screenings at Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder St., at 7 p.m. On Friday, Feb. 8, a North Campus Reception takes place in Lydon Library, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Visit for info.

COOL CONTAINERS: Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St., Lowell, presents "Vessels," on view through Feb. 28. Artist Barbara Gagel curated the show, which comprises a variety of containers in various materials. They include ceramics, Nancy Lesofsky; concrete, Andrea Wuest; fiber, Susan Garry; glass, Erica Noymer; metal, Tara Santoro; paintings, Amy Roberts; and wood, Eric Grant. TheWednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., in the Rasmussen Education Center. The two men's lives as both free and enslaved men are deeply intertwined in Concord's history in the 1800s. The Garrisons' photos are in the museum's collection. John Harrigan, a scholar at the Robbins House, will bring their story to life. Free but register at 978-369-9763, ext. 216, or