The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach will hold its annual Chinese New Year Celebration from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 to highlight its world-class collection of Chinese art and to welcome the Year of the Rat. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Rat are viewed as clever, resourceful, inquisitive, quick thinkers who thrive in challenging times and relish adventure.
The Norton’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration, which is free to the public, is one of the museum’s most popular celebrations and includes colorful dragon and lion dances, live music, art-making activities, tours of the Chinese Collection and much more.
This year’s event features concert performances by the New York-based ensemble Melody of Dragon comprised of internationally acclaimed Chinese flutist Chen Tao, guqin virtuoso Liu Li and banhu master Xia Wen-Jie. A guqin is a seven-string Chinese musical instrument, and a banhu is a bowed Chinese fiddle.
Popular “storytainer” Monica Ladd returns to regale audiences with Chinese folk tales. The museum welcomes back Gordon Hu to offer a Chinese calligraphy demonstration and the chance for guests to try basic calligraphy techniques. Visitors also can work with teaching artist Jill Lavetsky to learn the basics of painting bamboo, one of the traditional “winter friends” in China.
Other activities for all ages include lantern making, and “making” New Year’s wishes, which are written on colorful paper. This activity is related to scenes depicted in the Norton’s “Lantern Festival” painting that will be on view.
Docent-led spotlight talks will highlight major works in the museum’s collection of Chinese art, some dating back thousands of years, and there will be several talks by art experts.
The museum restaurant and store are open all day, and tours of the collection, architecture and garden will take place at 2 and 3 p.m.
Founded in 1941, the Norton Museum of Art is recognized for its distinguished holdings in American, European and Chinese art, and a continually expanding presence for photography and contemporary art. The Norton presents special exhibitions, lectures, tours, and programs for adults and children throughout the year. Parking is available across the street at 1501 S. Dixie Highway. For additional information, call (561) 832-5196 or visit www.norton.org.