(OCALA, Fla.) Dec. 19, 2011 — The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, will mark its anniversary with a gala on Saturday, Jan. 28. "La Belle Époque, A Beautiful 25 Years in Ocala" is open to the public and will be a memorable evening of art, music and fine dining.

The theme of the evening — "La Belle Époque, A Beautiful 25 Years in Ocala" — is inspired by 19th century France and reflects many of the museum's most treasured European works of art. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. and include valet parking, a cocktail hour, live music, champagne toast and "living art" displays of the Appleton's most popular masterpieces. An elegant three-course meal will be served in the Edith-Marie Appleton Gallery. Tickets are $150 per person and guests can reserve their seats when purchasing tickets at the Appleton or by calling 352-291-4455.

In addition, a series of special events and programs will be presented throughout 2012 in commemoration of the Appleton's 25th anniversary. For sponsorship opportunities contact Pamela Zeljak at 352-291-4455, ext. 1294, or email

The Appleton Museum opened to the public in 1987 as a gift from Arthur I. Appleton to the community of Ocala. Originally built to preserve and display Appleton's vast art collection, today the facility is one of the South's premier art museums and the leading cultural center in Marion County. The Appleton Museum's permanent collection consists of more than 18,000 objects including European, American and contemporary art, and Asian, African, Islamic and pre-Columbian artifacts. A series of temporary exhibitions are presented throughout the year.

Daily admission to the Appleton Museum is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors 55 or better and students 19 and over; $3 for youths ages 10-18; and free for members, CF students, children age 9 and under, and active military personnel and their immediate families.

The Appleton Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. A 12-month membership is available for $25 for seniors 55 and over, $30 for adults 18 and over, $40 for two seniors over age 55, $50 for a family of two adults and any children under age 18, and $15 for all college students and current or retired educators. Owned and operated by College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). For more information call the Appleton Museum of Art at 352-291-4455 or visit