It's a great time of year to explore the region's galleries and museums. And several exhibitions opening this week and next offer plenty of incentive to bundle up and head out.

The ever-popular Impressionist Claude Monet is featured in Worcester Art Museum's new exhibition, "Monet's Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process," on view Jan. 25-April 28.

Bringing nine major Monet works in his "Waterloo Bridge" series into new light, the exhibition explores the artist's dedication to capturing subtle temporal and atmospheric changes on canvas, and how these ephemeral elements impacted his painting process, choice of palette and brushstrokes.

Painted during Monet's extended visits to London in 1899, 1900 and 1901, the Waterloo Bridge series exemplifies the spirit of his Impressionistic style as well as iconic associations with turn-of-the-century London, from the fog-bound landscape to the city's industrialization. For additional information and events, visit www.worcesterart.org.


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A work by artist Nan Hockenbury is on view in "I Heart" opening next week at Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell.
A work by artist Nan Hockenbury is on view in "I Heart" opening next week at Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell.

The University Gallery in Mahoney Hall on UMass Lowell's South Campus hosts "404 International Festival of Art and Technology," on view through March 5. Artists from Taiwan, Slovenia, Korea, Canada, Argentina and the USA participate in the festival that unites art and technology in an environment of community. Several performance and symposium events are planned in conjunction with the festival over four days, Feb. 6-9. The gallery is open Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.

-9 p.m.; and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit www.uml. edu/FAHSS/Art/Galleries- Exhbitions/University- Gallery.

Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell presents "I Heart," its members' tribute to their passions and love for the arts. More than 30 artists are represented at the gallery, working in diverse media, including glass, pottery, fine visual arts, jewelry, fiber, sculpture, photography and more. A reception is Saturday, Feb. 2, 4-6 p.m. Call 978-596-1576 or visit www.the loadingdockgallery.com.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.

Art picks

BANISH THE BLUES: Winter getting you down? Then head to Worcester Art Museum this weekend and treat yourself to color and fragrance during the venue's annual "Flora in Winter." On view Thursday, Jan. 24-Sunday, Jan. 27, the entire museum blooms with flower arrangements from the region's top floral designers who interpret paintings, sculpture and other works with imaginative displays that dazzle and delight. Demonstrations, lectures, guided tours and activities for children also take place. Visit www.worcesterart.org for details.

ICONIC EXTENSION: The Museum of Russian Icons' solo exhibition of contemporary paintings by Russian-American artist and designer Alexander Gassel has been extended through Sunday, Feb. 24. Gassel blends the avant-garde with traditional Russian iconography and combines ancient symbols with contemporary subjects to create surrealist works that reflect his cultural heritage, as well as his life in America. He works in the medieval egg tempera technique, creating works that are characterized by bright, clean colors. The museum is at 230 Union St., Clinton, and open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www.museumofrussianicons.org.

PAINTING FOR ALL: Artist Claire Gagnon makes painting fun for all ages at her Chez Claire Art School in Dracut. She recently announced a new series of winter classes in drawing, watercolor and acrylics being held in February and March. Visit https://chezclaireartschool.com or call her at 617-901-3873 or email at Claire@ChezClaireArtSchool.com.