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.

HeartMath® Comes to the Polk Museum of Art

Does your voice get shaky when you speak in front of an audience? Do you feel yourself breaking out in hives when you’re in a high-stress meeting? Do you get butterflies in your stomach when you anticipate an uncomfortable conversation with someone?

There are constructive ways of coping with these types of stressors, and a program taught by wellness consultant Kelly Andrews will teach these valuable techniques during a one-hour session in our galleries on Feb. 28 at noon. This free class, called HeartMath®, will be held quarterly.

“There is a lot of research and literature about the health benefits of visiting art museums, including the reduction of stress,” said Claire Orologas, the Polk Museum of Art’s executive director. “The HeartMath® class is another way to engage the public and to facilitate experiences with works of art that have meaning for them, which is ultimately what we want.”

Learn to Handle Stress

Andrews will teach resilience tools including basic emotional tracking techniques and simple breathing practices that help you prepare for, recover from or adapt to stress, anxiety and challenges. These tools will help shift your inner state to one of peace and stillness, even in the midst of chaos.

“We can learn to prepare our bodies for situations that may trigger anxiety, stress and sadness,” Andrews said, adding that the museum is a good space for this training because “it’s such a quiet, receptive environment. The magic of the energy in the space is that it just slows you down.”

Breathing techniques can be performed ahead of time to help calm nerves and promote clear thought. These methods provide a way to intentionally slow the heart rate and breathing.

This is beneficial because research shows there’s more communication from the heart to the brain than the other way around. Research also shows that energy levels are related to emotions, and emotions are directly connected to the ability to cope with stress. 

HeartMath® uses science-based technology and programs to help people take charge of their lives. The methods it employs help reduce stress and anxiety by increasing inner balance and self-security.

Breathing techniques and self-regulation tools help increase awareness in difficult situations. Instead of getting triggered, they enable a person to step back and address the situation calmly.

Trigger Emotions

“When we’re angry or sad, we don’t always realize it,” Andrews said. “For most of us, we have a trigger emotion.”

Those emotions are labeled high- or low-energy. High-energy negative emotions that deplete energy include anger, irritation and impatience. Low-energy depleting emotions include sadness, withdrawal and low anxiety.

Examples of high-energy renewing emotions are joy, passion, excitement and love, and low-energy renewing emotions include peace, serenity, ease and calm.

“A lot of people think they have to be in the ‘low-energy positive’ realm all the time,” Andrews said. “What’s cool about the research is that it doesn’t matter if the renewing energy emotions are high or low. They’re all beneficial.”

A Practical Tool with One Huge Benefit

These tools for developing resilience could have the most practical applications in your work.

“If you get your button pushed in a meeting, you can practice these techniques and they will help you dial down those emotions that are coming up,” Andrews said. “This is something you can do as you’re walking from one place to another or sitting in a staff meeting.”

One of biggest benefits people who practice these tools report is better sleep. Adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours a night, according to the American Psychological Association.

Register Today

Registration for this class is not required, but it is appreciated: Reservations@PolkMuseumofArt.org. For questions, call Membership and Marketing Manager Diana Smith: (863) 688.7743, ext. 249.