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Patti Owen's "Solidalgo" featured in How Does Your Garden Grow? at Whistler House

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" is one of childhood's most well known nursery rhymes.

And the Whistler House Museum of Art puts that simple question to the test in its Art Quilts 2014 exhibition How Does Your Garden Grow?

The juried show runs Aug. 20-Sept. 20 in the museum's Parker Gallery. A reception and awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, Aug. 23, 1-3 p.m.

The works in the display reveal how each quilt artist was inspired by the nursery rhyme's well-known second line.

It was juried by expert quilters Mary Walter and Sandy Townsend Donabed.

People's Choice, Jurors' Choice and the Whistler Award will be presented at the opening reception ceremony.

Also on view in the Members Room during the same time period are works by members of Mary Walter's quilting students. They were asked to interpret James McNeill Whistler's watercolor painting "Shelling Peas," a subtle rendition of a seated woman, quietly working in her garden. Whistler often painted ordinary people doing simple tasks.

The museum, located at 243 Worthen St., Lowell is open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 978-452-7641 or whistlerhouse.org for info.

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  • CAMBODIAN ART ON VIEW: An exhibition of Cambodian art is showcased at Zeitgeist Gallery, 167 Market St., Lowell, Aug. 12-Sept. 7. It includes costumes from the Angkor Dance Troupe, sculptures by Yary Livan, the Cambridge Mutual Aid Association's Cambodian Dream, Culture Shock and Lowell Community Health Center's Journey to Healing Art. The opening reception on Friday, Aug. 15, at 6:30 p.m., features performances by the Angkor Dance Troupe and Flying Orb Productions.
    Zeitgeist Gallery showcases Cambodian art in a show opening this week
    Zeitgeist Gallery showcases Cambodian art in a show opening this week
    On Thursday, Sept. 4, at Downtown Lowell First Thursdays, a special youth event, featuring shadow puppets, takes place at 6:30 p.m.
  • TURN BACK TIME: Salem's Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), located in East India Square, takes a trip back to the arcades and rec rooms of the '70s and '80s at its upcoming PEM/PM party during the evening of Thursday, Aug. 21. The retro game night features vintage board games to a giant Twister game and a human version of Pac-Man. Also on tap are trivia, Atari and air hockey, plus a DJ mixing funk and disco hits. It's a good chance to also explore the PEM's hit summer exhibition Turner & the Sea before it closes on Labor Day, Sept. 1. Members, free; non-members, $10 at the door. Cash bar and small plates menu from the Hawthorne Hotel. Call 866-745-1876 or visit pem.org for details.
  • MAKE A DISCOVERY: As summer winds down, the Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton still has a slew of activities planned to entertain guests. Among them, I Spy...Woodland Trail Search, a chance to put observational skills to the test on the outdoor woodland trail, all day, Thursday, Aug. 14; Make a MESS: Build a Bubble in Bessie's Tent, 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 15; Free Friday Night Fun, free admission 4:30-8:30 p.m. at both museums, Fridays, Aug. 15 and 22 and Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette, 9:30 a.m., Children's Discovery Classroom, Friday, Aug. 22. Visit discoverymuseums.org for hours, admission and full line-up of special events.

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