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May Exhibitions & Events at Polk Museum of Art

Site Specifics: Works by Dan Gunderson & Barbara Sorensen
Through June 8
This exhibition will include installations by two Central Florida artists, Dan Gunderson of Deland and Barbara Sorensen of Winter Park. Working collaboratively, these two artists will transform the Museum with their site-specific installations that will provide visitors an opportunity to experience art environments. Gunderson has been a professor of art at Stetson University for more than 35 years. Having spent 30 years almost exclusively in ceramics, his current works visually express his observation of pop culture. Via the medium of iconic movie characters, his work reflects that we are a composite of our experiences. Sorensen is known for monumental sculptural installations that draw on geological formations and classical elements, but she recently turned her energies to large-scale environmental vessels constructed of metals and resins as well as new, experimental mixed-media prints and two-dimensional works. She discovered clay as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. After completing her degree there, she went on to work with mentors Gunderson, Peter Voulkos, Don Reitz and others who were pushing the medium in fresh, sculptural directions.
All Decked Out
April 26-July 20
As part of Innoskate 2014, the exhibition All Decked Out! will celebrate the artistic and innovative spirit of skateboarding. Polk Museum of Art is proud to host an exhibition of contemporary artworks that smack of the edgy aesthetic so often associated with skating. Co-organized by Chad and Suzie Cardoza, two Tampa-based artists and independent curators of all things skate, this exhibition includes a diverse checklist of works by artists from around the country. Painted skate decks, skateboard photography, skate-related sketches, and assembled sculptures will coalesce to provide audiences a renewed glimpse into the unique and creative state of contemporary skateboard culture.
Through June 22
Ekphrasis is a rhetorical exercise first practiced by the ancient Greeks. Essentially, it is a method of creating a new artwork as directly related to or inspired by an already existing work of art. Ekphrasis often takes the form of prose or poetry. The written piece is not necessarily a mere description of the artwork at hand (although it can be), but is a beautifully written account about the subject of the artwork. It is as if an illustration precedes and inspires the written story. For this exhibition, Polk Museum of Art worked with students at the Lakeland Montessori Middle School. Artworks from the Museum’s Permanent Collection were chosen and assigned to students as inspiration for their own explorations into the ancient art of ekphrasis.
Creative Youth: 15th Congressional District Competition
Through May 18
This exhibition features works from high school students in the 15th Congressional District. The exhibit is organized through the efforts of the Museum and the offices of U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross. The Congressional Award winning piece will travel to Washington, D.C., to be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol along with winning works from other districts throughout the nation. The exhibition is sponsored by Joy and Mike Martin, Burnetti Children’s Foundation and the Law Offices of Burnetti P.A.
Reception: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 3
The Museum’s administrative offices will be closed on Monday, May 26, for Memorial Day. The Museum will reopen to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 27.
Please note the Museum will observe summer hours beginning June 1 through Labor Day. During that time, PMoA will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.
Central Park Stroll
Thursday, May 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Central Park area of downtown Winter Haven
Admission: Free
This annual event is a celebration of the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition, now in its 14th year. Sculptures selected in the FLOSC are displayed for 11 months in the Central Park area of downtown Winter Haven. The event includes free children’s art activities and live music. Winners will be announced at the event, and participants will be invited to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Award.
MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake
Saturday & Sunday, May 10 & 11, 9 a.m.-4p.m.
Admission: Free
One of the nation’s Top 100 outdoor art festivals takes place annually on Mother’s Day Weekend around downtown Lakeland’s beautiful Lake Morton. Every year, about 165 artists are invited to exhibit at this prestigious and fun juried show. Admission to the Museum is FREE all weekend. See for details.
Mayfaire Saturday Night
May 10, 5-11 p.m., at Lake Mirror Promenade in downtown Lakeland
Admission: FREE
Mayfaire Saturday Night moves the fun to the Lake Mirror Promenade for a free street dance party and fireworks display. Music will be provided by MPiRE. In addition, about 1,200 athletes are expected to participate in the 35th Annual Mayfaire Classic 5K Road Race & Walk, sponsored by the Lakeland Runners Club. The race begins at 7 p.m. at Lake Mirror Center. The artist and race award results are announced at approximately 8 p.m. A fireworks display begins about 9 p.m. For more information on the 5K, please visit
Docent-Led Tours
Every Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Docents volunteer to lead free tours of the current exhibitions every Saturday. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Family Fun Workshops 
Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-Noon
COST: FREE for everyone
May 3: Polk Museum of Art
May 17: Mulberry Public Library
Family Fun Workshops provide a safe, fun environment for families to participate together in hands-on activities led by an art educator. Workshops are held at the Museum and at facilities in Polk County as a part of our ongoing community outreach efforts.
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Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts in Central Florida. The Museum is one of the Top 10 art museums in the State of Florida, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the only art museum accredited by the American Association of Museums serving the 561,000 residents of Polk County. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays; 1 – 5 p.m. Sundays; and closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free for Museum members. General admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors (62 and older). Children and students with student IDs are admitted for free. Special exhibition fees may apply. Admission is free to all on Thursdays, thanks to our partnership with the Chao Foundation; Fridays, thanks to our BB&T; and Saturdays, thanks to MIDFLORIDA. The Museum is fully accessible.

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