I'll admit it. I enjoy visiting museums and galleries, but I'm not well versed enough to fully comprehend or pontificate about the intricacies of art or artists. Take Impressionism for example. I could blather on about the uncanny ability of Tina Fey to nail the accent and idiosyncrasies of Sarah Palin or the inability of Tom Hanks to truly capture the essence of Walt Disney. But when it comes to those other impressionists, such as Degas, Cezanne, or Monet? Well let's just say I'm more adept at discerning the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom.

The Museum of Fine Arts has a new exhibition, Boston Loves Impressionism, which debuts over Valentine's Day weekend and continues through May 26. What makes this presentation particularly intriguing is that the museum invited members of the public, including hockey moms as well as art connoisseurs, to choose their favorite paintings from the MFA's extensive collection. The top thirty vote getters will be included in the exhibit.

Boston Loves Impressionism will kick off with special events including a talk about Love and Lovers as expressed through painting on February 14 and a lecture about Impressionism at the MFA on February 16. The museum has a complete schedule on its Web site. If you want to indulge your appreciation of art even more (or expand your knowledge, if your facility with art resembles mine), you could follow up your exploration of Impressionism by visiting the MFA's exhibit of Abstract Expressionism, which includes works by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and other noted artists of the genre.

Art connoisseurs (and hockey moms for that matter) could also head to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem for its Impressionists on the Water exhibit which continues through February 17. The museum celebrates its seaside locale with works featuring the element of water from Monet, Renoir, and others.

Image: Museum of Fine Arts.