No doubt about it -- the Mill City's galleries and museums prove there's a lot to like about Lowell, especially when art is the focus.
And if you haven't taken a gallery tour lately, May's the month to sample the city's vibrant art scene.
At Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St., photographer Alfonso Bonilla shares his work in "Spectral Narratives -- transit to the unknown."
Bonilla is a Colombian photographer, multimedia designer and teacher who has worked in the Far East. He's researched and experimented in graphic photography and uses those tools to share his message. He creates to today's audiences in this work that is an unmistakable sign of our hyper-modern times. Open through May 27 on Saturdays, noon-4 p.m., and by appointment.
Gallery Z, 167 Market St., hosts Earth Mother through May 28. The exhibit is a multimedia show of earthly images that consider our global environmental crises. Upcoming this weekend is a Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 14, at 11 a.m.
The Arts League of Lowell presents its new show "Gates and Gateways," on view in the ALL Gallery, 307 Market St., through Sunday, June 18. A reception is planned for Saturday, May 20, 4-6 p.m., and the gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
The newest works from visual artists working at the Gates Block Building are on view through May 21 in the Greenwald Gallery at the Arts League of Lowell, 307 Market St., with the same hours as the adjacent ALL Gallery.
Jean and Will Winslow, longtime Lowell artists, share their work in "Evolving Together" at the UnchARTed Gallery, 103 Market St. The opening reception has passed, but the show is on view through May 28.
And don't forget the Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., where "American Impressionism: Harbor Scenes" runs through May 28; The Brush Art Gallery and Studios, 256 Market St., where "Contemporary Visions of Greece's Golden Age" is on through June 8; The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., where "Dreamscapes: Land & Water," new work by Bethany Peck and Barbara Fletcher, is featured through May 28; and the New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., where "The Quilt Takes A Prize," award winners from the National Quilt Museum, and "Twisted, Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist," recently opened and are on view into July.
FLOWERS FOR MOM: Still wondering what to do to make Mom's Mother's Day special this year? Take her to the Concord Museum on Saturday, May 13, where expert flower arranger Marta Taylor will give a demonstration at 11 a.m. Two lucky attendees will take home an arrangement. $20, members; $25, non-members. Reserve at www.concordmuseum.org. On Sunday, May 14, 1-4 p.m., the museum hosts "Hands on History," a chance to learn how historians trace family trees and learn how to make your own. Free with museum admission.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: A reception and kickoff for Doors Open Lowell 2017 takes place Thursday, May 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John St., Lowell. Hosted by Lowell National Historical Park and the Lowell Heritage Partnership, the gathering is also where people will be recognized with Community Excellence Awards in the fields of historic preservation and cultural heritage. This marks the 11th year that the Park and Partnership have recognized these contributions to the city. Excellence in Historic Preservation awards will be presented to those responsible for interior restoration at St. Patrick's Church and to Jim Lichoulas III for the creative development of Mill No. 5 at Appleton Mills. The Excellence in Cultural Heritage honor goes to Ingrid Hess, who wrote "Mr. Magnificent's Magical Merrimack Adventure," a charming story that takes readers on the journey of current-day Lowell youths, guided by Mr. Magnificent, as they experience Lowell's history. The reception is open to all, but please RSVP to Phil Lupsiewicz at email@example.com or call 978-275-1705. For info on Doors Open Lowell, visit www.DoorsOpenLowell.org.