(OCALA, Fla.) Oct. 12, 2012 — Celebrate the holiday season at the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, with the exhibitions “Sendak & Co.,” “The Nature of Things” and the elaborate “Urban Family Holiday Collection.” Addition activities in December include a “First Saturday” children’s art program, After Hours with the Marion Civic Chorale, Appleton’s 25th Birthday Party, a docent-led tour and weekly educational art films.

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 famili

Now through Jan. 20, “Sendak & Co.: Children’s Book Illustrations Since ‘Where The Wild Things Are’” presents original drawings by 34 of some of today’s best-known artists in children’s book illustration such as Chris Van Allsburg, Leo and Diane Dillon, Brian Selznick and Mo Willems. The exhibition “The Nature of Things: The Art of Ed Smith” runs through Dec. 31 and features 21 large-scale oil paintings that depict wildlife’s struggle to survive with the modern world. Throughout the month, guests can also enjoy “The Urban Family Holiday Collection: A Dickens’ Christmas” displayed in the lobby and ground floor galleries with colorful Christmas trees, miniature villages, nutcracker soldiers and countless decorations collected by the Urbans over the years.

Special programs in December include the “First Saturday” children’s art session “Paper Party!” on Dec. 1 where young visitors create holiday decorations out of paper from 1 to 3 p.m. The program is free for members and included with admission for yet-to-be members. On Thursday, Dec. 6, the “Drawing in the Galleries” adult art session is conducted from 3 to 5 p.m. and that evening’s After Hours starts at 5 p.m. with the Marion Civic Chorale performing holiday music. Admission is free for members and $8 for yet-to-be members. The IHMC video lecture series continues on Tuesday, Dec. 11, with Dr. William Davis’ program “Wheat Belly: The Unhealthy Whole Grain” presented in the Auditorium at 2 p.m. In addition, the Appleton celebrates it 25th Birthday on Sunday, Dec. 16, with free admission to the public, performances by award-winning magician Greg Solomon, strolling musicians, children’s art projects, face painting, cake and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A docent-led tour, “Big Apple Meets Little Apple,” is conducted on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 2 p.m., and a series of educational art films are shown in the Auditorium each Sunday at 2 p.m.

In addition, the Appleton Museum of Art offers a permanent collection of European, American and Contemporary art, plus Asian, African, Islamic and pre-Columbian artifacts and antiquities. The 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