Lowell galleries are awash in color and creativity this month, and February is the perfect time to get out and check out what they offer.
"Voice & Vision," an array of works by UMass Lowell artists, is on view through Feb. 25 at Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St. The show is sponsored and curated by Tom Fiorelli with Denise Manseau. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. and a closing event takes place Feb. 24, 2-6 p.m.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell host the "Boys and Girls Clubs of America's Northeast Region Fine Art Exhibit" through Feb. 10 at the Onyx Room at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave.
Included are paintings, drawings, mixed media and digital art from youths ages 7-18. From here, the exhibit transfers to San Diego for a national exhibit.
High Five Gallery, 250 Jackson St., fifth floor, hosts "Shut Up and Listen," a show designed to push diversification the Lowell art scene to include more people of color and diversity. Featured are drawings, paintings and more. Visit http://high5arts.org for info.
Gallery Z, the artist co-op at 167 Market St., presents its "Member's Show 2018: through Feb. 26. An array of colorful works by various member artists are featured in the expansive gallery, which is open Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
And don't forget to shop your local galleries and studios when looking for special Valentine's gifts. Visit www.cultureiscool.org for a full list.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.
LET'S PLAY: Itching for creative fun as winter drags on? Why not get out and play at PlayTime, a brand-new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum, Feb. 10-May 6. "PlayTime," says the PEM, "spurs productivity, reinvents the rules, empowers the players and negotiates conflict" among other things. This is one of the first major thematic exhibitions to celebrate the role of play in contemporary art and culture. The 42 works by 20 leading contemporary artists include large-scale installations, sculpture, photographs, video and tactile interactive pieces. The goal is to examine how play encourages creativity, enchants the ordinary and helps us understand ourselves in new ways. Visit www.pem.org for details.
FEBRUARY FINDS: Fitchburg Art Museum presents "Fantastical, Political," a new show featuring works by five contemporary New England artists -- Dave Cole, Cynthia Consentino, Mohamad Hafez, Dinora Justice and Joo Lee Kang. Open Feb. 11-June 3, it features absurd and extravagant decorative techniques that inspire viewers to look past decorative appeal to uncover political content. Visit www.fitchburgartmuseum.org for info.
MIDWINTER MISCHIEF: Old Sturbridge Village is open weekends only through Feb. 16 for its "Midwinter Mischief" events, including being assigned a real-life character who lived in New England 200 years ago. Beginning Feb. 17, the living history museum reopens for weekday hours and will be open Wednesdays-Sundays 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. through May 25, when it starts summer hours. It's also open Feb. 19-20 and April 16-17 for Vacation Week activities. Visit www.osv.org.