at Polk Museum of Art


Art can be found in many aspects of everyday life. From the creation of business logos, to sculptures on display in public areas, and including every photo ever taken; works of art are all around us. Fortunately, Lakeland is home to a fine collection of artistic works, traditional and modern, large and small, at the Polk Museum of Art (PMoA). The variety of works is always changing and can set fire to the imagination.

The current collections run the gamut of creativity. Currently on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the exhibition “Paintings of the Space Age” will be on display through December 7. The works are the product of a 1960s invitation extended by NASA and the National Gallery of Art to artists to paint whatever interested them about the space program. The result is a collection of art ablaze with color; some on enormous canvases, carrying themes that include the shuttle program and the rockets of the ‘60s. The caliber of this exhibition makes it one you can’t miss.


Another exhibit on display through December 7 is “reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today.” Following the success of the 2005 book and exhibition, which traveled across North America, Europe and Asia; this second edition turns the spotlight on new, up-and-coming talents from 31 countries. Curators at the world-renowned Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, selected works from more than 700 entries submitted by 120 of the world’s top photography schools. The resulting publication and exhibition reveal the flexibility of young photographers as they pass fluidly from one genre to another. The collection includes 105 photographs by some of the world’s most promising young talents.


If you’re looking for something a little different, “Stephen Knapp: New Light” will be on display beginning December 14. Knapp’s “lightpaintings” are created by using shards of fused glass, installed perpendicular to the surface of the wall, to reflect beams of colored light into abstract co mpositions. This type of art brings painting, sculpture and technology to a crossroads by exploring color, light and space. The artist’s sculptural canvases appear to be painted but are all created with light and glass. The 14 lightpaintings coming to PMoA will be on loan from the Massachusetts artist through March 8.

PMoA’s George W. Jenkins Student Gallery is host to 10 local student exhibitions every year, and “Art Out Loud: Artwork by Middle School Students” is showing through December 16.

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PMoA’s permanent collections consist of Modern and Contemporary Art, Asian Art, European and American Decorative Arts and Pre-Columbian Art. These collections give visitors the opportunity to experience a wide range of artistic objects: from 2,500-year-old vessels made by the Chavin culture in what is now Peru, to contemporary artworks completed in the last six months. All collecting areas continue to grow, but the Modern and Contemporary Art area is by far the fastest growing. PMoA’s guiding principle in collecting art is that each object must add to the educational and artistic value of the permanent collection while reflecting community interests. Within the past few years, the Museum also has added artworks from Africa, as well as a growing collection of Contemporary Folk Art.

In addition to the inspiring surroundings, PMoA is also a great place to start your holiday shopping. Located just inside the Hollis Gallery at the entrance to Polk Museum of Art, the Shop at PMoA features all kinds of gift items for you and all the special people on your list. Jewelry, glass, ceramics, art activities, books, children’s items and more can be found in the Shop. Gift wrapping is free!


The Museum is home to an Art-o-mat®, a former cigarette vending machine that has been converted to vend art for a $5 token. There are more than 100 Art-o-mats around the country, and PMoA is proud to have one just inside the front door. Arto- mat provides a fun and inexpensive way to begin your own art collection, and children love to choose an artist and pull the knob.

For more information about Polk Museum of Art, please call 863.688.7743 or visit www.polkmuseumofart.org.

Polk Museum of Art is a private, 501(c)(3) organization that relies upon the generosity of the community for its support. The Museum is free to everyone on Thursdays, thanks to the Chao Foundation; Fridays, thanks to BB&T; and Saturdays, thanks to MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.


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