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A Fantastic Fall of Change for the Polk Museum of Art

The Polk Museum of Art welcomes new changes as it gears up for a fall season filled with exciting exhibitions, events, and educational programming.

Over the past year, the Museum has been busily revamping and revitalizing its visitor spaces, including with its new Living Wall in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden and with the installation of a new permanent collection “Spirits: African and Oceanic Art from the Dr. Alan and Linda Rich Collection.” To add to the changes visitors will enjoy in the coming season, renovations are scheduled in the Museum’s largest gallery, the Dorothy Jenkins Gallery, in mid-July and in Gallery II in early November. The Museum hopes the renovations will modernize the galleries and give them a contemporary feel, creating a more versatile space for future exhibitions.

Matt Belcher, the Museum’s preparator and design manager, has installed countless exhibitions in the Museum galleries and is looking forward to the first renovations of the galleries since the Museum’s present building’s construction in the late 1980s.

“It will be great to bring a fresh look to the main galleries, in line with the other renovations we’ve accomplished at the Museum, including in the Student Gallery and the new ‘Spirits’ Gallery,” states Belcher.

In addition to renovations, the Museum is also looking forward to enhancing the way audiences interact with Museum staff by adding a new, more visitor-friendly front desk to the Museum’s entryway. The Visitor Service team worked together with Dr. Alex Rich, executive director and chief curator, and Lynda Buck, board president, to re-envision the front of house to create a more engaging and accessible experience for all visitors.

“As a part of the visitor experience, we want the front desk to be approachable, to lighten up the space and draw individuals in to chat with our representatives, ask questions, and know that our team is here to help,” explains Victoria King, director of retail operations and visitor experience. “We are constantly evaluating and revising how we can improve and enhance the visitor experience, just like the upcoming renovations to the galleries.”

New desk at Polk Museum of Art
New Desk at Polk Museum of Art

The new custom-built front desk made its debut several weeks ago, in time for new exhibitions to be installed in the renovated galleries. The fall exhibition schedule includes “American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection,” which opened at the end of July, “Pictures at an Exhibition: A Guest Curated Exhibition by the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra,” which opened in September, and “Finding Meaning Within: The Photography of John Pinderhughes,” opened in Gallery II in November.

For more information, please contact Taylor Holycross, manager of membership and communications, at or 863.688.7743 ex. 249.

About the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a not-for-profit, teaching museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida. The Museum’s COVID hours are Tuesdays–Saturdays 10 am to 3 pm and closed Sunday, Monday, and major holidays. The facility is handicapped accessible and special needs assistance is available. Admission is free, thanks to our strategic partner, The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation.

Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College

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