The Polk Museum of Art installed its second annual exhibition at Polk State College's Lake Wales Arts Center on Monday.
It is on view in support of the college’s annual Jewel of the Ridge Jazz Festival April 6-10 along the shores of Lake Wales, and remains through May 16.
The exhibition titled “Visible Rhythms” includes 22 works by 20 artists that are part of the museum’s permanent collection. They were chosen for their ability to visually correlate with the sounds from the jazz festival.
Although these works of art can be appreciated when viewed alone, their visual vivacity is enhanced when coupled with the rhythmic power of modern jazz, Curator Adam Justice says.
“Essentially, it's equating color with rhythm,” Justice says. “All of these pieces are abstract works that are characterized by their vibrant colors.”
This exhibition is one of many ways the Polk Museum of Art brings art to residents who live throughout Polk County and the Central Florida region, says Executive Director Claire Orologas.
In addition to this exhibition done in partnership with Polk State College, the museum is a partner in the Winter Haven arts incubator, The Outer Space Gallery, which opened in 2015.
The Polk Museum of Art also has sculptures in Polk, Highlands and Lee counties as part of the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition.
The Lake Wales Arts Center is located at 1099 FL-60. The center is open Monday- Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed weekends.
The Story Behind “Visible Rhythms”
In 1911, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) penned his now famous treatise “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” Through this momentous work, Kandinsky was the first artist to lay out the connections between music and painting, Justice says. He equated certain tones of sound with specific shades of color. For example, the lowest frequency tones, or bass sounds, were the auditory equivalent to deep blue hues.
People don’t connect sound and color exclusively with the ears and eyes, but with our souls, according to Kandinsky. He believed, as so many artists and theorists before him, that sensitivities to music and visual art are innate in every human, and we connect the two in our own respective and unique ways. By outlining the relationships between painting and music, Kandinsky helped us understand the basis for our spiritual interpretations of the two art forms.
Perhaps the best modern example of Kandinsky’s theory is the relationship between modern jazz and 20th-century abstract art. Just as a visual artist composes a canvas according to the interaction of color and shape, a jazz musician composes a piece of music according to the interaction of tone and rhythm. What ultimately connects these two sorts of compositions is the similar energy innate in each.
“Visible Rhythms” seeks to emphasize that energy.