Mary Nelson demonstrates how flowers can be arranged in a variety of different containers during the March Brown Bag Lecture sponsored by the Virgin Valley Artists Association. Submitted photo

The Virgin Valley Artists Association holds a Brown Bag Lecture series the first Tuesday of every month at the Mesquite Fine Arts Center.

The subjects vary each month and cover a wide range of topics from flower arranging to Calligraphy. Guests are invited to bring a lunch and listen to an expert on the topic presented, for free. It’s a great way to spend your lunch break, learn something and possibly discover a new interest all in just under an hour.

March’s Brown Bag lecture was on flower arranging and featured speaker Mary Nelson.

Nelson worked in management for a major corporation in Milwaukee for 25 years before she decided to use her artistic talents. Those talents and her love for flowers led her to take some floral design classes from several schools.

After studying for her newly intended career, she began designing individual floral shops. She worked as a wholesale buyer and sales manager and ran her own freelance business.

Nelson served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Florists’ Association and as Treasurer of the Upper Michigan Teleflora Unit before retiring and moving to Mesquite.

Since retiring, Nelson has been busier than ever working on hostess teams for the Miss America and Miss Nevada Pageants and as Marketing and Publicity for the Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant. She has also donated her time and talents to “Puttin on the Ritz, “La Dolce Vita” the Mesquite Cancer help society and other fundraising events.

Nelson gave everyone who attended the March Brown Bag Lecture a wonderful lesson on basic flower arranging practices and principals, put together some sample arrangements and even gave them to some of her guests afterward.

Join the Virgin Valley Artists each month for hobby or even new business ideas; you can learn a lot in a little in a little bit of time. The next Brown Bag Lecture is scheduled for May 1 at noon. The topic, “Wonderful World of Wigs.” The guest speaker will be Darlene Roquet, owner of Crazy for Hair Salon.

For more information on future Brown Bag Luncheons contact the Mesquite Fine Arts Center at 702-346-1338 or visit their web site at