Lessons from the Shadows
September 24, 2016 - December 3, 2016
“I believe in Art as a means of transcendence and connection. My images are simply what I’ve made from what I have been given. I hope they have done justice to their sources and that they will, for a moment, ‘stay the shadows of contentment too short lived’ (Sor Juana Inés De La Cruz).” —Josephine Sacabo
New Orleans photographer Josephine Sacabo employs an array of photographic techniques to produce dream-like images that often illustrate historical and cultural narratives. Lessons from the Shadows focuses on two of Sacabo’s photography portfolios: Juana and the Structures of Reverie andÓyeme Con Los Ojos.
Juana and the Structures of Reverie consists of more than 40 wet collodion tintypes. Together they tell the tragic story of Juana la Loca (Juana the Mad) who reigned as the Queen of Spain in the 16th-century. Juana’s reign was absolved after being imprisoned for 46 years by her father, husband and son in the Convent of Santa Clara. During her forced confinement, Juana slowly descended into a perpetual state of paranoia, convinced that the nuns of the convent were plotting her death. Her paranoia often prevented her from eating, sleeping and bathing. Sacabo’s stunning tintypes illustrate the gradual decline of Juana la Loca and explore an imaginary world created by the imprisoned queen.
Óyeme Con Los Ojos consists of nearly 50 photogravures that recount the life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the 17th-century Mexican nun who is still revered as one of the country’s greatest poets and intellectuals. Sadly, Sor Juana was victim to her time, her gender and her faith. After being imprisoned for over 20 years, Sor Juana was silenced by the Inquisition, her only sin being an inquisitive, creative and intelligent woman. Sacabo created this portfolio with hopes to break Sor Juana’s silence and once again expose one of history’s most influential yet overlooked intellectuals.
During her 36 year career, Sacabo’s work has been featured in over 40 gallery and museum exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. She has been the recipient of multiple awards and is included in the permanent collections at the George Eastman House, the International Center of Photography, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and la Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris.
Members' Reception: Friday, September 30, 2016
One Collector's Dream
October 1, 2016 - December 3, 2016
You may not have met local legend George Lowe, but there is a good chance you have heard his voice. Since he began his radio career in 1974, his voice has contributed to nine Emmy Awards, three ADDY Awards and has earned him praise from the New York Times, USA Today and TV Guide. Millennials will recognize his voice as that of the interstellar talk show host Space Ghost from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim fame. Lowe’s rap sheet of vocal appearances is second only to his checklist of works in his private art collection.
Lowe has been an art collector for over 30 years. His home is a veritable art museum, containing a variety of artworks from mid-century Pop Art to contemporary Folk Art. He refers to collecting art as his passion. His collection includes staple artists like James Rosenquist, Howard Finster, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann, but also includes a number of wildcards like Michael Stipe, Mama Johnson, Shepard Fairy, Lonnie Holley, Sandy Skoglund . . . and, George Lowe.
After decades of pursuing artists and collecting work around the world, Lowe became passionate about his own work. His complex compositions of swirled constellations and meandering pathways seem otherworldly. These abstract drawings have been included numerous exhibitions around the country and can be found in the major museum collections, including the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, The Georgia Museum and The Foundation for the Advancement of Self-Taught Art.
One Collector’s Dream is the first comprehensive exhibition of George Lowe’s private collection. In one gallery, audiences will witness how one collector’s focus can take on multiple facets and they will perhaps realize the insatiable hunger experienced by such impassioned art collectors. The connections between Lowe’s collection and his own work will also be explored, exposing one of Lakeland’s most prolific creatives.
Members' Reception: Friday, September 30, 2016
Public Lecture with George Lowe: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Tracing Antilles: A Shared Voyage
October 15, 2016 - January 15, 2017
Tracing Antilles is an on-going project produced by multi-media artist Humberto Castro. Based on a series of historical and visual explorations of the islands of Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands), the artist investigates the evolution of culture in this highly complex region. The work does not aspire to be a chronological account of historical events, but seeks to explore impressions, or traces, of collective experience that still influence the Caribbean psyche and artistic expression today. A key aspect of his project is that of the artistic journey, travelling through the islands and immersing himself in the culture. Many of the works incorporate found objects brought from the islands.
Castro was born and educated in Cuba. He spent the first ten years of his career in Havana; then, in 1989, he immigrated to Paris where he lived for ten years, where he became active in the Parisian intellectual scene. In 1999, he moved to Miami where the confrontation with his own past and memory inspired him to examine his personal history of migration and displacement within the larger context of Caribbean history.
Public Lecture with Humberto Castro: Friday, October 14, 2016
Unforeseen Light: A study in reflection.
September 3, 2016 - December 4, 2016
Murray & Ledger Galleries
Although he got his start as a graphic designer and illustrator, David Woods's greatest passion became photography. As a young art student he was always awed by the lighting found in paintings of the Hudson River Artists of the mid-19th century and in the works of one of his favorite illustrators, Maxfield Parrish.
This exhibition will showcase Woods’ experimentation with High-dynamic-range (HDR) photography. HDR is a digital technique that captures a more dynamic range of luminosity than other photographic processes. HDR acts as a mediator between our eyes and our brains, allowing us to see the more natural effects of light without being altered by our sensory receptors.
David Woods has specialized in advertising and fine photography for nearly four decades. He has served as a professor of fine arts at Polk State College for the last 15 years. Formerly, he was the Director of Photography at Cypress Gardens, Photographic Manager at Circus World and Photographer at Kings Dominion Theme Park. His most recent work is based on High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.
Monkey Business: Ruben Ubiera at Polk Museum of Art
For the first time in its 50 year history, the Polk Museum of Art partnered with an accomplished Florida artist to produce an on-site, large-scale interior mural. Florida artist Ruben Ubiera designed and created a unique mural measuring 16’ x 24’ directly onto one of the Museum’s most prominent walls. The Museum will remain on view through the end of the year. This is the Museum's first on-site mural project and Ubiera's first major museum commission.
About the Artist
Given its history of support for accomplished Florida artists, the Polk Museum of Art has chosen to work with Miami artist Ruben Ubiera. A native of the Dominican Republic, Ubiera moved with his family to the Bronx, NY, where he was influenced by the city’s gritty street graffiti. Now working in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, Ubiera contributes to the area’s recent nomination as a capital for sophisticated public street art. Inspired by man’s relationship with the urban environment, Ubiera combines concept and technique with narrative and an old-school essence of graffiti. This new style of street art is often referred to as Postgraffism, or according to Ubiera “urban-pop.” His murals embody a new spirit of urban aesthetic, distanced from the old perceptions of unrefined graffiti. He considers himself one of the “neo-illustrators and designers who are experimenting with new media, but have been influenced by graffiti . . .” He has certainly distinguished himself as belonging to a new generation of street artists. You can learn more about Ruben Ubiera at his website, http://www.urbanpopsoul.com.
Special thanks to the community of supporters who made this project possible through donations to the Museum's Kickstarter campaign.
August 27 – November 6, 2016
Awards Ceremony: Saturday, August 27, 11am
This exhibition highlights work from Very Special Arts (VSA) of Polk County. This program is for gifted students and students with emotional, physical or cognitive challenges who are enrolled in Polk County Schools. The artworks selected for the exhibition represent a wide variety of media and techniques.
For more information about our Student Gallery, visit our Student Gallery page.
Sponsored by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union and supported by VSA Florida.
Collection Spotlight: David Maxim
Three works by Maxim, Four Winds, Time's Speed, and White Circle, will be on display in the Taxdal Gallery through mid-September.
David Maxim is a San Francisco-based artist whose mixed media creations are about mythologies, the passage of time and natural forces. In many ways, these works are also connected to the themes of power and vulnerability: raging storms, human strength, psychological challenges and the impact of history. Maxim’s signature expressive style, with its energetic line and spilled color, contributes to depicting power and the anxiety of being impacted by that power.
David Maxim’s work has been exhibited across the country and in Europe, and has been collected by many museums, including The British Museum in London, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ancient Art of the Americas
David and Lucia Taxdal Pre-Columbian Gallery
Ancient Art of the Americas, a refocused installation of the Museum’s collection of Pre-Columbian artworks which was completed in December 2000, and updated with recent acquisitions in March 2003, features a comprehensive overview of artifacts from Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Peru. The gallery is divided into two themed rooms. Warriors, Priests, and Rituals presents effigies related to those three categories, including bound prisoners, warriors ready for battle, and priest figures. The second room is arranged geographically, with artifacts grouped according to the current name of the country in which they were found. This arrangement allows visitors to see how cultures that were geographically close influenced each other. This room also contains an archaeology display which explains how scientists uncover and interpret artifacts like those in the gallery.
Contemporary works by by James Bassham, Jane Jaskevich, Fonchen Lord, Carol Brown and Michael Mick are featured in the Museum's permanent outdoor exhibition space.
Material World: A Global Family Portrait
The Material World: A Global Family Portrait exhibition is the result of American photojournalist Peter Menzel’s project to help viewers grasp a sense of cross-culture realities and to celebrate our common humanity. Sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled around the world, visiting thirty different countries to live for a week with families that are statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, the photographer and subjects collaborated on the Big Picture, a remarkable portrait of the family outside of its home, surrounded by all of its possessions. This exhibition is an attempt to capture through photos and statistics, both the common humanity of the peoples inhabiting our Earth and the great differences in material goods and circumstances that make rich and poor societies.
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
For the first time in history, more people are overfed than underfed. And while some people still have barely enough to eat, others overeat to the point of illness. To find out how mealtime is changing in real homes, authors Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio visited families around the world to observe and photograph what they eat during the course of one week. During their project, they sat down to eat with twenty-five families in twenty-one countries.
As Peter and Faith ate and talked with families, they learned firsthand about food consumption around the world and its corresponding causes and effects. The resulting family portraits, which are displayed in this exhibition, offer a glimpse into the cultural similarities and differences served on dinner plates around the globe.
This show joins Material World: A Global Family Portrait in the Marks Gallery to stimulate further thought and discussion about cultural commonalities and differences.