PMA Thanks MIDFLORIDA for Sponsorship

It is with sincere gratitude that the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College thanks MIDFLORIDA Credit Union for 10 years as the title sponsor of Mayfaire by-the-Lake, presented each Mother’s Day weekend by the PMA.

MIDFLORIDA’s financial support of Mayfaire by-the-Lake, along with all of the Mayfaire sponsorships, not only have made the event possible, but they also support the general work of the museum all year long. 

“Those ten years of support were critical because those were the ten years that Mayfaire was climbing in the rankings of Sunshine Artist magazine’s prestigious ‘Best 200 Art Shows’ list,” said PMA Executive Director Claire Orologas. “Without the support of all of our sponsors, we would not have been able to achieve this stature. We are deeply grateful to MIDFLORIDA for their role in this endeavor.”

In 2016, Mayfaire by-the-Lake reached the top 20 on the “Best 200 Art Shows” list.

A new Mayfaire by-the-Lake title sponsor will be announced in the fall.

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.

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.

The Polk Museum of Art's MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake Brings Out the Art in Food This Year

What makes a great art show filled with beautiful works from around the country even better? Great food options!

New to the Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake this year are elevated food options that pair well with viewing and purchasing fine art.

“We are pairing high quality food with high quality art this year,” says Mayfaire Coordinator Joy Williams.

Pairing No. 1- Cuban Flair and Cuban Fare

Cuban artist Miguel Fonseca is a ceramics artist who makes his inaugural appearance at Mayfaire this year. He was enamored with ceramics at a young age and began making art from recycled wet clay pipes and tiles. He developed his own style through the years and has been an innovator in his designs and style of figurines and pottery, as well as in firing techniques.

Visitors will get to see Fonseca’s brightly colored vases, sculptures, tiles and wall art at Booth No. 147. Once inspired by Fonseca’s work, consider heading over to the food vendor area for a ¾-pound Super Cuban or a Media Noche from Manolito’s Cuban Shop. Manolitos opened in 1977 in South Lakeland. Their food is so tasty, you’ll be dancing the mambo to the next art tent.

Pairing No. 2- Laughter is Good for the Soul; So is a Smokin Bowl

Austin, Texas photographer Lorri Honeycutt has dabbled in photography for years, and she loves depicting happy or humorous characters in "what if" compositions. Her macro photos are a mix of miniature figures posed in clever situations. Her goal is to make you think, and then smile. Honeycutt is new to Mayfaire this year, and you can see her photography at Booth No. 150.

We’ve paired the culinary artistry of Smokin Bowls with Honeycutt’s art. Smokin Bowls brings the West Coast culinary style to the West Coast of Florida.  Chef Brian Lairby brings California street fare with a Latin influence in the form of elotes, which is painted corn on the cob with garlic mayonnaise, house roasted California chili powder, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime, finished with charred onion crema. This dish is guaranteed to give you something to smile about.

Pairing No. 3- Hang a Grouper, Eat a Grouper

Linda Heath is a mixed media artist from Bradenton who specializes in gyotaku- the art of fish printing. She uses Florida fish caught by herself and her friends and paints their bodies using water-soluble sumi ink. Then she rubs its imprint onto delicate rice paper. The last step is to paint the eye, adding a white dot in the center, which some believe gives the fish back its soul.

Looking at all those fish hanging on the walls of Booth No. 131 is enough to make you hungry. We recommend Jimmy’s Famous Seafood Express, where you can eat your weight in grouper sandwiches, fresh shrimp, mahi tacos and crab cakes.

Pairing No. 4- David Figueroa and Nico’s Arepas Grill

David Figueroa is last year’s Best of Show Winner for his sculpture work, and you will find him at Booth No. 115 this year. A Sanford resident, Figueroa uses a variety of materials in his work, including wood, steel, stone, bronze and found objects.

Like Figueroa, variety is the hallmark at Nico’s Arepas Grill. This tasty eatery serves arepas, a popular Venezuelan dish made from white corn meal dough that is pattied, grilled, split and stuffed with a variety of ingredients, including shredded beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and cheese. Be sure to try arepas while you’re at Mayfaire.



MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake Breaks into Sunshine Artist Top 20

The Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake has claimed the 20th position in Sunshine Artist magazine’s list of the top 200 art shows in the country for 2016.

This is the highest that Lakeland’s annual juried art show has ranked on this prestigious list. The magazine ranked Mayfaire 55th in 2015. Mayfaire first appeared on the list in 2012.

“We were all ecstatic to see where we placed on this year’s list,” says Executive Director Claire Orologas. “I hope our entire community can take pride in the fact that what began 46 years ago as a small craft fair on the lawn of the library has become a major event in Polk County with national recognition.”

In considering the 2016 rankings, Sunshine Artist asked show participants to vote on all aspects, including sales, artist amenities and the quality of art or craft. The magazine noted that 100 percent of voters reported earnings between $2,000 and $5,000 at Mayfaire.

Orologas anticipates this year’s ranking will attract higher caliber artists and more first-time applicants to the 2017 show. She also believes it could result in larger attendance, she says. Organizers estimated attendance at roughly 70,000 in May.

Eight of the top 20 shows on the magazine’s list are in Florida. Among the factors in ranking are low costs to artists and strong sales.

“All of the top 20 shows demonstrated support from the community,” Orologas says. “Awards are another factor. The Polk Museum of Art gives nearly $17,000 in prize money to winning artists. Artists also have always remarked on the great hospitality they experience here.”

This community event is successful due to our title sponsor, MIDFLORIDA Community Credit Union, all of our sponsors, the museum’s team of staff and volunteers, the participation of the Lakeland Runners Club, and the City for the pride taken in making it such a well-run event, Orologas says. The lion's share of the credit goes to Brenda Friedman and Maya Beck, who served as Mayfaire coordinators for the past 10 years. They have left the event in the capable hands of incoming coordinators Joy Williams and Leslie Norman.

About the Magazine

Sunshine Artist is the leading publication for art and craft show exhibitors, promoters and patrons. Since 1972, the magazine has provided its readers with comprehensive reviews of everything from fine art fairs and festivals to small craft shows around the country. Each issue includes hundreds of art and craft show listings, including contacts, booth fees, application deadlines and the type of art/craft that the event accepts.