LOWELL -- The paintings in Don Sullivan's latest show, Greece and Beyond, were inspired by a recent trip he and his wife, Linda, made to Athens and several Greek islands.
The exhibit is on view at the Ayer Lofts, 171 Middle St.
"We love to travel and many people had told us how beautiful Greece is, and then after seeing pictures of the small white chapels with blue domes, we knew we had to see it for ourselves," Sullivan said.
They spent a couple of days in Athens visiting the Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus and other antiquities, then toured several islands on a small cruise ship.
"It's hard to say what we liked best but the people and food were memorable, as well as being close to structures that are thousands of years old," he said.
Sullivan was "taken with the pure quality of light, the geometric shapes of the stucco-covered architecture and the breathtaking ruins of Athens and Delos."
The colors of the ocean -- "so different from what we are used to seeing in New England" -- forced him to explore an entirely different palette.
The subject matter, for the most part, is white on white, which also challenged Sullivan to paint in many shades of white and still capture the forms and subtle changes in direction that a building may take.
"The focus of the show is Greece, but there are apt to be a few other surprises, too," said Sullivan, who has a studio at Western Avenue.
There's a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and
OPENING WEEKEND: Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, opens this weekend for its 98th season. Highlights include a talk at 5 p.m. Saturday by John Curuby, guest curator of Among the Birches, an exhibit of works by early 20th century artist Marie Spaeth. On Sunday, the United Native American Cultural Council (UNACC) from Devens will be at the museum with dancing, singing, storytelling and a trading post. The museum also welcomes Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to learn about educational opportunities. Call 978-456-3924, ext. 292 or visit www.fruitlands.org.
ARTFUL INSIGHTS: The 119 Gallery, 119 Chelmsford St., Lowell, hosts a panel discussion on collaboration in art at 2 p.m. Saturday, presented in conjunction with its exhibit, Two Sculptors in Two Dimensions, works by Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. Joining them on the panel are fellow collaborative artists Margot Stage and David Crane; Rick Breault and Elaine Wood and Tim Winn and Zehra Kahn. Walter Wright is moderator. Go to www.revolvingmuseum.org ... The Cultural Organization of Lowell, hosts "Public Art: A Two-Way Street" at LTC, 246 Market St., Lowell, on from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19. Jason Weeks, executive director of the Cambridge Arts Council, will discuss the role of public art in building and representing the community. People can bring their ideas for public art in Lowell.
RECYCLE YOUR STUFF: The Revolving Museum is creating the Dirty Dog Exchange, a pop-up shop that will transform its space into a temporary retail store June 7 to 8 during the JAMBRA-ree block party hosted by JAMBRA (Jackson Appleton Middlesex Business Resident Association). The museum is looking for unwanted clothing, jewelry and other items that its young artists and creative entrepreneurs can turn into goods for the shop. Drop off gently used clothes and other items at 290 Jackson St., Lowell. Call 978-937-2787 to set up a drop off time.