Polk Museum of Art Announces Winners at 47th Annual MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake

Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College announces the following artists as award winners at the 2018 MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake fine art show. The winners, their hometowns, the media they work in and their booth location at the show are as follows:

Best of show ($5,000):

  • Richard Currier, Micco, Fla., painting- oil and acrylic, Booth #103

Awards of Excellence ($2,000 each)

  • Ummarid “Tony” Eitharong, Orlando, Fla., Painting- oil and acrylic, Booth #110
  • Christopher Doherty, Jupiter, Fla., Photography, Booth #6

Awards of Distinction ($1,000 each)

  • Tyler McLaughlin, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Sculpture, Booth #163
  • John Mascoll, Safety Harbor, Fla., Wood, Booth #109
  • Karen Kurta, Altamonte Springs, Fla., Photography, Booth #53
  • Jean Yao, Ft. Lauderdale, Fiber, Booth #120

Merit Awards ($500 each)

  • Tim Hall, Tampa, Fla., Photography, Booth #71
  • Susan Currier, Micco, Fla., Drawing and graphics, Booth #104
  • Jeff Eckert, Tampa, Fla., Drawing and graphics, Booth #112
  • Jinsong Kim, Seagrove, NC, Clay, Booth #167
  • John Kellum, Orlando, Fla., Clay, Booth #41
  • Russ Schmidt, Palm Bay, Fla., Glass, Booth #90

Honorable Mentions ($250 each)

  • Patrick Dragon, Lakeland, Fla., Clay, Booth #111
  • John Williams, Tampa, Fla., Wood, Booth #179
  • Charles Taube, Phoenix, Ariz., Sculpture, Booth #43
  • Hugo Cruz, Gainesville, Fla., Photography, Booth #100
  • Richard Auger, Jupiter Island, Fla, Photography, Booth #59

MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake Returns to Lake Morton for 47th Year

The Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake returns to Lake Morton May 12-13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. 

Celebrating its 47thyear, this juried art show is a great way to spend time with your mom on Mother’s Day weekend, but this annual event packs a ton of fun for the rest of the family, too.

Included during the weekend of activities is Mayfaire Saturday Night on May 12, 5:30-11 p.m. This free concert features the band MPiRE at the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror, as well as the MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire 5K Road Race presented annually by the Lakeland Runners Club. The evening ends with fireworks.

Events and activities occurring during Mayfaire include the Children’s Art Tent and Kids Zone with games and free, hands-on art activities designed for participation by children of all abilities. Live performances are held throughout the weekend on the front lawn of the Lakeland Public Library, and food trucks offer lots of tasty variety for everyone to enjoy. 

Art is available for purchase, from jewelry and pottery to paintings and sculptures in a wide range of price points. Mayfaire presents $17,000 in awards to artists annually, and this year’s winners will be determined by Mayfaire Judge Leland Michael Bryant. You can learn more about Bryant here.

An Adaptive Services Oasis is located on the library lawn to provide event accessibility information for people of all abilities. This will be staffed by volunteers who will provide assistance with communication, shuttle transport and information regarding reaching accessible entry points designed for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. You can learn more about accessibility at Mayfaire here.

Mayfaire organizers select an artist’s work to serve as the event’s poster and T-shirt design each year, and this year’s image is by Orlando artist and long-time Mayfaire participant Tony Eitharong.You can learn more about Eitharong here.

Free parking and shuttle service is available, and free shuttles also run around Lake Morton and to the museum during the festival.

This signature event is one of the museum’s oldest traditions, and it has grown exponentially since its debut as a crafts fair on the front lawn of the Lakeland Public Library. More than 70,000 visitors from throughout Central Florida attend Mayfaire each year.

 

Visit https://www.mayfairebythelake.orgfor more information.

MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake Offers Accessibility Services

The Polk Museum of Art presents MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake annually, and it has become a tradition for thousands of families and individuals from throughout Central Florida. 

Accessibility for all is important, and Mayfaire organizers routinely solicit feedback on areas where increased focus can improve upon existing measures that are in place. Based on that feedback, following are the steps coordinators have taken to make this year’s Mayfaire even more enjoyable and accessible for people of all abilities.

An Adaptive Services Oasis will be located on the Lakeland Public Library lawn. This area will be staffed by volunteers who will provide assistance with communication, shuttle transport and information about reaching accessible entry points designed for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. 

The following amenities also are provided for attendees:

·     Three ADA-compliantportable toilets around the lake with mats placed on the grass in front of them to make it easier for attendees in wheelchairs to access.

·     ADA-compliant restrooms in the museum and library.

·     A wheelchair accessible golf cart for shuttle service throughout the event.

·     A wheelchair accessible concrete dining area with picnic table is located on the lake shore near Walnut Street.

·     Signage throughout the event directing people to accessible restrooms and the Adaptive Services Oasis.

·     An event guide and map that includes accessibility information. Guides will be available at the Adaptive Services Oasis, the museum and the museum tent on the library lawn.

·     A Children’s Art Tent that offers free crafts for children of all abilities.

Accessibility questions and requests during the event can be addressed by calling (863) 455-4990.

Please offer feedback and suggestions on additional accessibility improvements after the event via email: mayfaire@PolkMuseumofArt.org. 

Art+Dance Comes to the Polk Museum of Art

The art is coming “off the wall” in April when live commentary and interpretative dance converge for Art+Dance: Off the Wall at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College.

The event is April 19, 6:30-9 p.m. It costs $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages are provided, and a cash bar is available.

The featured exhibitions for this event are “Painting A Nation: Landscapes from the Hudson River School,” and “Masters of Spain: Goya and Picasso.” Live dance pieces choreographed and created by Ferdinand DeJesus of the FrediDance Project will bring the exhibitions to life through group and solo contemporary and hip-hop dance, as well as some acrobatics.

“I want to take the viewer inside the painting through rebellious, urban, interpretive dance,” DeJesus said.

DeJesus will collaborate with violinist Jason Baker for one of the performances.

Curator Alex Rich, who also is an art history professor and the art history program director at Florida Southern, will briefly discuss each featured work, and then the art will come off the wall in the form of dance.

Art+Dance is a fundraiser hosted by the Polk Museum of Art. Proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s education programs and exhibitions.

Purchase tickets at the door or online. For more information, call (863) 688-7743. The Polk Museum of Art is located at 800 E. Palmetto St. 

Masters of Spain Exhibition Opens Soon at the Polk Museum of Art

“Masters of Spain: Goya and Picasso” opens March 17 at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College.

The exhibition, which runs through June 17, includes more than 50 works of art and features the iconic “Tauromaquia” (Bullfighting) series of etchings by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, as well as rare late-career works by Pablo Picasso in multiple media from ceramic to cardboard.  The majority of the works in the show are on international loan from The Art Company, located in Pesaro, Italy.

Goya was fascinated by the concept of the bullfight as emblematic of Spanish history, as was Picasso, and that theme is represented throughout the exhibition, said Dr. H. Alexander Rich, PMA Curator and FSC Art History Professor. Goya explores the artistry and the violence of the bullfight in the complete 40 prints of the “Tauromaquia” series.

“I believe it can be argued that Goya was trying, through this series focused on the tradition of the bullfight, to revive an element of the collective Spanish spirit, which had been diminished severely following the Peninsular War from 1807 to 1814,” Rich said.

The bull was also an important symbol to Picasso, and the bullfight was something that recurred in his work. He often thought of himself as a bull, as it was the epitome of machismo, Rich said. Picasso’s depiction of the bull is present in his ceramic and two-dimensional work in the exhibition, alongside other frequent Picasso themes including women, his wives and mistresses, and cubistic still lifes. Other notable works in the exhibition come from Picasso’s 1969 “Portraits Imaginaires” series, two pieces on corrugated cardboard representing a king and queen and produced only a few years before his death in 1973.

“These pieces reflect Picasso’s unique use of materials,” Rich said. “All the way to his 91st year, he always loved to experiment.”

A number of famous ceramic works by Picasso are included in this exhibition, including “Corrida,” “Profile of Jacqueline” and “Tete de Chevre de Profil (Goat’s Head in Profile)” from the PMA’s Permanent Collection.

Picasso started working in ceramics in 1946, and the medium became his principal focus for the next nine years. Intentionally imperfect, his works in pottery were all handcrafted, as opposed to spinning on a wheel.

The Members Reception to celebrate the opening of “Masters of Spain” and “Painting a Nation: Hudson River School” is March 23, 6-8:30 p.m. It is free for members to attend; $10 for nonmembers.

The museum will host a free lecture on Goya by Roy Kerr on April 12, 5:30-6:15 p.m. 

A Point of View Gallery Talk on April 13, noon-1 p.m. will focus on the “Masters of Spain” exhibition. It is free to attend.

 

Director to Participate in Second Art of Film Installment

Film director Annie J. Howell will be part of the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College’s second edition of The Art of Film, a series that began in February.

 “Claire in Motion” is the featured film at this free event on March 30. The museum’s galleries open for viewing at 6 p.m. and showtime is 6:30 p.m. A Q&A with Howell takes place at the film’s conclusion.

Howell is an alumna of Whitman College, New York University's graduate film program, the Screenwriters Colony, and IFP’s Emerging Narrative. She teaches in the graduate film program at the City College of New York. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.

In addition to co-directing “Claire in Motion” with Lisa Robinson, Howell wrote the screenplay for “Little Boxes,” directed by Rob Meyer and starring Melanie Lynskey and Nelsan Ellis, which premiered in 2016 at the Tribeca Film Festival. Netflix purchased the film. The “Little Boxes” script received an Independent Filmmaker Project Emerging Narrative Award for Best Feature, and a San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant. 

“Claire in Motion” is about a woman who is sure of herself, her work and her family until her husband disappears, leaving a trail of puzzling secrets that shatter her certainty.

The Art of Film features films that often echo the themes of one of the museum's current exhibitions, and includes internationally-renowned independent and arts-related movies. The series exposes attendees to films that aren’t likely to be seen elsewhere in the community, and encourages the viewing of films “more from the standpoint of appreciating filmmaking as an art instead of just an entertainment form,” said Matthew Herbertz, a filmmaker and film studies professor at Florida Southern who helped create the series.

Herbertz, who worked on the production of “Claire in Motion” as a gaffer and Steadicam operator, will lead the Q&A.

Registration is requested but not required: https://polkmuseumofart.org/upcoming-events/filmfeb18.

Learn About Florida's Spanish History and Culture at the Polk Museum of Art

The Polk Museum of Art encourages Central Florida residents to attend their free-of-charge "Goya, Picasso & the Heritage of Spain: Exploring Spanish Culture in Florida from 1513 to Today" panel discussion on Tuesday, April 3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This interactive program designed for an intergenerational multicultural audience will give participants the opportunity to learn more about Florida’s unique Spanish history and culture. The event will take place in the Museum’s Kent Harrison Auditorium, 800 E. Palmetto St. in Lakeland.

The program will start with a 30-minute self-guided tour of the Museum’s "Masters of Spain: Goya & Picasso" exhibition, which served as the inspiration for aligning this panel discussion with Florida’s Spanish history. The fine art show includes Goya’s well-known "Tauromaquia" (Bullfighting) etching series and Picasso’s little known ceramic plates, one of which depicts a bullfighting scene, among other works. A networking reception hosted by Florida Southern College will be available simultaneously to enable guests the opportunity to share their viewing experiences.

At 7 p.m., PMA Curator and Florida Southern College Art History Professor Dr. H. Alexander Rich will lead the 60-minute panel presentation by introducing the program’s overarching theme and asking the audience to consider the following: If Goya and Picasso identified the bullfight as the most potent symbol of Spanish tradition, what can we identify as essentially Spanish in Florida today? Dr. Rich will also set the historical context of Goya and Picasso’s work, introduce the panelists, and facilitate the 30-minute Q & A session with the panelists following their presentations.

The distinguished speakers and their individual topics include University of South Florida Spanish Professor Dr. David Arbesú, who will focus on the history of Spain in Florida from Juan Ponce de León’s first expedition in 1513 to Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ founding of St. Augustine in 1565; FSC Spanish Literature Professor Dr. Melissa Garr, who will present Florida’s Spanish literary history from Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s text "Shipwrecked" in 1528 to Ernest Hemingway’s "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in 1940; Polk State College Ceramics Professor Andrew Coombs, who will discuss the art of pottery, Picasso’s ceramics, and pottery discovered at Tristan de Luna's 1559 Settlement site in Pensacola; and Centro Español de Tampa President John A. Rañon, who will address the history and living legacy of Spanish immigration to Tampa.

This collaborative educational program is funded by a Florida Humanities Council (FHC) Community Project Grant that was made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the FHC or NEH. For more information, contact Director of Arts Advancement Suzanne Grossberg here.

 

Meet the Judge of MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake 2018

Each year, a number of cash awards are presented to artists whose work is on display at the Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake, and one judge plays the important role of determining those winners.

Leland Michael Bryant will serve as the fine arts competition judge for the 47th annual Mayfaire, held May 12-13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along the shores of Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland.

Bryant served as a photographer and lab manager to Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C. from 1991 until 2008, when he retired to devote more time to teaching and making art.

Bryant received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photographic illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and his Master of Fine Arts degree in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Vermont.  He worked at Penn Camera Washington, D.C.  in sales for several years. He also started teaching photography at this time, and has served as an instructor for more than two decades.

"As a teacher, a museum professional and an artist himself, Michael has spent his entire career looking at, responding to, evaluating and learning from works of art,” said Executive Director Claire Orologas. “I know he'll do an excellent job."

Award winners will be announced at Mayfaire Saturday Night at 8 p.m. on May 12.

For more Mayfaire information, visit the Mayfaire by-the-Lake website.

Accomplished Concrete Sculptor Offers 3-Day Workshop

As a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University, Elder Jones lived in a cabin in the woods without electricity, running water or a phone.

When noted Tennessee sculptor Jack Hastings – who lived nearby and worked out of his Sewanee Deepwoods art studio – needed help working on a big commission for the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Jones jumped at the opportunity, which offered the promise of company and $4 an hour.

Jones would mix cement in the mornings and Hastings would begin carving after it set. When Hastings had some concrete left over, he would ask Jones if he wanted to make something. Hastings offered no instruction; just the tools.

“Jack never taught me anything,” Jones said. “I saw his tools and his work, and he just turned me loose.”

Jones “piddled” with this newfound hobby for a while, but got serious about wet-carved concrete sculpting after a stint in California, where a woman took an interest in his work and pushed him to make more. His work began to take off and some of it wound up in a Berkley art gallery.

The Chattanooga native eventually returned to his home state and joined the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists. He had a great studio space, sold his work, and got the occasional commission, he said, adding that creating art was “much better than hanging wallpaper.”

In the years since, his work has been featured on HGTV’s “Our Place,” in Southern Living Magazine, and in the San Francisco Examiner, as well as in two books by Sherri Warner Hunter.

Sharing the Knowledge

Jones began offering workshops to teach others the art of wet-carved concrete sculpting. They have great appeal for him.

“It’s just fun,” Jones said. “After an hour or so, you look around and see everyone carving away and no one is saying anything.”

Then out of the blue someone invariably breaks the ice by announcing, “This is so much fun.”

“It’s very engrossing,” Jones said. “You get to watch yourself make something.”

Jones is “totally amazed all the time” by the sculptures and planters students make in his classes. Every student is different. Some want guidance. Some never ask Jones anything and suddenly he looks over and wonders to himself whether he’s teaching them anything or he should be learning something from them.

Dr. Seuss versus The Soup Nazi

Here’s what you can expect from Jones when you take his upcoming wet-carved concrete sculpting class at the Polk Museum of Art: A delicate blend of gentle instruction and stern pushing to get it done.

It begins with a lot of “Cat in the Hat,” where Jones gently encourages everyone, he said. But as the concrete begins to harden, Jones admits that he channels his inner Soup Nazi and pushes students “to get done because if you miss a spot, it’s permanent.”

Join us March 23-25

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is excited to offer a three-day Wet-Carved Concrete Sculpture Workshop with Jones March 23-25, and we hope you’ll join us for this hands-on experience.

The deadline to register is March 4 and can be completed here. Call for more information: (863) 688-5423.

Polk Museum of Art Receives Florida Humanities Council Grant to Support Goya, Picasso & the Heritage of Spain Panel Discussion

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is pleased to announce that it has received a Florida Humanities Council Community Project Grant to support a panel discussion entitled Goya, Picasso & the Heritage of Spain: Exploring Spanish Culture in Florida from 1513 to Today. The free-of-charge program will take place at the Museum on Tuesday, April 3, from 6:30-8:30 pm. This project was one of six selected to receive funding out of 19 applicants.

A distinguished panel of presenters from four institutions collaboratively developed the humanities-focused program to coincide with the Museum’s Masters of Spain: Goya & Picasso exhibition on view from March 17-June 17, 2018. Included in this show that will be open for viewing prior to the program are Goya’s iconic Tauromaquia (Bullfighting) series of etchings and Picasso’s ceramic plates, one of which depicts a bullfighting scene, among other works.

Using the exhibition as inspiration for the discussion theme, PMA Curator and FSC Art History Professor Dr. H. Alexander Rich, who will serve as panel moderator, invited University of South Florida Spanish Professor Dr. David Arbesú, FSC Spanish Literature Professor Dr. Melissa Garr, Polk State College Ceramics Professor Andrew Coombs, and Centro Español de Tampa President John A. Rañon to consider the question: If Goya and Picasso identified the bullfight as the most potent symbol of Spanish tradition, what can we identify as essentially Spanish in Florida?

Their collective responses formed the content of this 90-minute program that includes a 30-minute audience Q & A. Dr. Rich will introduce the panel, present the thesis, and set the context for subsequent presentations. Dr. Arbesú will focus on the historical presence of Spain in Florida from Juan Ponce de León’s first expedition in 1513 to Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ founding of St. Augustine in 1565. Dr. Garr will trace cultural encounters that took place throughout Florida’s history beginning with Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s text Shipwrecked in 1528 and ending with Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940. Professor Coombs will discuss the art of pottery, Picasso’s ceramics, and the recent pottery discovered at Tristan de Luna's 1559 Settlement site in Pensacola. Mr. Rañon will present the history of Spanish immigration to Tampa and the Spanish heritage that is embedded in Tampa today.

To learn more about this PMA public program funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, contact Director of Arts Advancement Suzanne Grossberg at 863-688-7743 x298 or sgrossberg@polkmuseumofart.org