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July 1, 2014

Sunday, July 6 marks the final day to visit the Virginia Museum of Natural History's "Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants" special exhibit.  The exhibit is sponsored at VMNH by Bassett Furniture Industries and the Marjorie Sutton Memorial Fund.

Small, yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view.  The ant-themed exhibit allows visitors to view the world at an ant's level through the macro lens photography and insight of famed ant expert and photographer, Dr. Mark Moffett.

Moffett’s stunning images tell incredible stories about the lives of ants—hunting, communicating, dealing with disease and agriculture—and chronicle the work of entomologists in the field.  In addition to a robust photo gallery, the museum is developing large-scale, live ant colonies to be on display once the colonies mature.

“Being an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution has provided the museum the phenomenal opportunity to offer this world-class exhibit here in Martinsville," said Ryan Barber, deputy director of the museum.  "While we'll miss the exhibit, we're excited that we will continue to display the exhibit's large-scale carpenter ant farm at VMNH, while making room for other exciting exhibits to be displayed in our special exhibit gallery."

The ant-themed exhibit will give way to "Living on the Water", set to open Saturday, July 26.  The new special exhibit will offer a variety of visuals and interactive elements to explain the central role water plays in day to day life by honing in on 4 major uses, including consumption, recreation, workforce and research.  To celebrate the opening, the museum will host an exhibit debut festival on July 26, featuring water relay races, sandcastle building, dunking booths and many other family-oriented activities throughout the day.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Now through August 31, the museum is open Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. as part of its "Summer Discovery" program, which also features discounted new museum memberships and special offerings from the museum's PALEO Café.

Museum admission is $5 per adult, $4 for seniors and college students, $3 for children 3-18 and free for children under 3 and museum members.

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