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Polk Museum of Art Announces 2014-15 Major Exhibitions and Events

Posted on August 20th, 2014 by

Categories: Arts, Attractions, Event, General, Upcoming

Polk Museum of Art has announced its calendar of major exhibitions and events for the upcoming year. Information on all may be found at www.PolkMuseumofArt.org.


Terra Incognita: Photographs of America’s Third Coast

Through September 13

On loan from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, La., this exhibition is a photographic project of 15 years’ duration (1991-2006) by nationally recognized photographer and author Richard Sexton. Latin for “unknown land,” “Terra Incognita” consists of 57 black-and-white photographs of marsh, scrub lands, dunes, beaches, swamps and forests along the Gulf Coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle. According to R.C. Baker of the Village Voice, “Nothing in these extremely fine-grained prints remotely resembles a ‘snapshot.’ … Sexton’s spare compositions coalesce into a portrait of nature as the ultimate abstractionist.” This exhibition is sponsored by Visit Central Florida, Eaglebrooke, Fleetwing, Rodda Construction Inc., Robert & Malena Puterbaugh, the City of Lakeland and the State of Florida.

Exhibition reception: 6 p.m. August 22, with a lecture by Richard Sexton.

Collected Color

Through September 13

Color is an important part of our world. It allows us to visually recognize, relate, and interact with our surroundings. Because of its enormous impact on how we interpret what we see, color has always been an important attribute of art. But, color is not important for art only because it affects what we see; it also affects how we reproduce what we see so that others may share our creative experiences. It was not until the late 19th century that artists began separating color from naturalism, using it in more expressive ways to emphasize emotion or creative formalism. How has the use of color in art changed? Is color still an important creative component? This exhibition examines how color is represented within the Permanent Collection at Polk Museum of Art.

Future Retro: Drawings from the Great Age of the American Automobile

September 20-December 6

This exhibition showcases the beauty and ingenuity of American automotive design during the decades following World War II, a landmark period in car styling, through more than 100 drawings from the collection of Frederick A. Sharf. An eclectic mix of illustrations, from preliminary sketches to fully rendered works, provides a rare glimpse into the creative process at some of America’s premier car companies. Dating from an era when speed and power were increasingly important factors in automotive sales, these drawings show reference to the emerging technologies that influenced postwar car design, such as airplanes and rockets. “Future Retro” is on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Exhibition reception: 6 p.m. September 19

Gabrielle Wu Lee

December 13-March 14

The late Chinese-American artist Gabrielle Wu Lee described her paintings as works of “dynamic expressionism.” Her works beautifully meld Eastern traditions and modern Western aesthetics into emotionally charged renderings of the power of nature in transition. To Lee, seasonal change, dusk, dawn, and the rise and fall of the ocean’s tide were all visual signs of cyclical rebirth of our natural environment. The sheer size of her work also emphasizes a sense of sublime meditation. This exhibition will be organized in collaboration with Florida State University and Dr. Paul Lee.

Exhibition reception: 6 p.m. January 9

Her Ethereal Self: Portraits by Kathy Sosa

December 13-March 14

Inspired by contemporary folk art and the American Southwest, Kathy Sosa’s artistic style is characterized by prismatic color combinations and an emphasis on graphic patterns. Although she creates literal portraits of women from various backgrounds, Sosa also includes her painted interpretations of their cognitive and spiritual existences; she presents painted portraits that portray their thoughts, dreams and aspirations.

Exhibition reception: 6 p.m. January 9

African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center

March 21-June 27

This exhibition is organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland. The exhibition couples works by renowned artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Sam Gilliam with exciting new visionaries like Chakaia Booker, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker. The relationships and contrasts between these works collectively reflect the growing prominence – and complexity – of the field of African American Art over the last 60 years. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Robert E. Steele and Dorit Yaron, the David C. Driskell Center’s former executive director and acting director, respectively, and independent scholar Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, and brings to the nation the next pivotal chapter of African American art.

Exhibition reception: 6 p.m. March 20


Fall for Art Festival (November 13-15)

A series of events highlighting local and emerging artists and encouraging art collecting:

  • Artists’ Market
    Thursday, November 13, noon-8 p.m.
    Admission: Free
    Your favorite jewelers and artists are back to dazzle you with their unique creations. It’s a great opportunity to buy a wonderful, hand-crafted present for someone special in your life — or for yourself! Don’t miss the chance to mingle with the artists (and shop) during the Soiree!
  • Art2 Sale
    Thursday-Saturday, November 13-15, during Museum hours
    Admission: Free
    Artists are donating artworks from 5×5 inches to 12×12 inches, with all proceeds benefiting the Museum. The artists’ names won’t be revealed; pick what you like, and then flip it over to see which artist’s work you chose! (Prices are $25 and up.)
  • Soiree
    Thursday, November 13, 6-8 p.m.
    Admission: Free
    Evening cocktail party will feature a fundraising art auction.
  • Art+Music
    Friday, November 14, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
    Admission: $10 members, $15 non-members
    Art+Music kicks off our Art+ series of events that will offer new ways to experience the museum. Enjoy craft beer and live rockabilly music as we celebrate the exhibition “Future Retro.” Break out your best 1950s attire for our costume contest! The night also will include car painting, miniature car races and more. Other Art+ evenings will include Art+Food (January 23) and Art+Fashion (April 17).
  • Art Crawl
    Saturday, November 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Admission: Free
    This juried outdoor art show will feature local and emerging artists selling affordable artwork in the PMoA parking lot. Most artworks will be available for less than $300. There also will be live music and demonstrations.

Elves Shelves Gift Shop
November 29-December 7, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Admission: Free. Prices of items vary.
Shhhhhhh! This special secret shop is for children only! Gifts will be reasonably priced for children to purchase holiday items for family and friends. Elves Shelves fun includes a wrapping station.

Coming in 2015:

The Gala
Saturday, February 28, 6:30 p.m.-midnight
Cost: $350 per person

Polk Museum of Art’s annual black-tie benefit is also one of the best parties in Central Florida. It’s a memorable evening of dancing, socializing, and a wonderful gourmet dinner. A silent auction takes place throughout the evening, as well. Items for auction range from sports memorabilia, great vacation getaways, gourmet meals, jewelry, and more!

MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake
Saturday & Sunday, May 9-10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free

One of the nation’s Top 100 outdoor art festivals takes place annually on Mother’s Day Weekend around downtown Lakeland’s beautiful Lake Morton. Every year, about 165 artists are invited to exhibit at this prestigious and fun juried show. See www.PolkMuseumofArt.org/Mayfaire for details.

 Mayfaire Saturday Night
Saturday, May 9, 5-11 p.m.
Admission: Free

Mayfaire Saturday Night moves the fun to the Lake Mirror Promenade for a free street dance party and fireworks display. In addition, more than 1,400 athletes are expected to participate in the 36th Annual Mayfaire Classic 5K Road Race & Walk, sponsored by the Lakeland Runners Club.

Student Gallery Exhibitions

Artwork by Summer Art Camp Students
October 11-November 9

Art Out Loud: Artwork by Middle School Students
November 15-December 21

Polk County High School Exhibition
January 3-February 7

Harrison School for the Arts Senior Exhibition
February 14-March 8

Creative Youth: 15th Congressional District Competition
March 14-April 19

Free to Be Me: 3rd-5th Grade Students Exhibition
April 25-May 24

Learning to Be Me: K-2nd Grade Students Exhibition
May 30-July 12

VSA Arts
August 29-October 4

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