African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center

Through June 27

Organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, this exhibition couples works by renowned artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Sam Gilliam with exciting new visionaries like Chakaia Booker, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker. The relationships and contrasts between these works collectively reflect the growing prominence – and complexity – of the field of African American art over the last 60 years. This show brings to the nation the next pivotal chapter of African American art. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Robert E. Steele and Dorit Yaron, the David C. Driskell Center’s former executive director and acting director, respectively, and independent scholar Dr. Adrienne L. Childs.

Dual Abstraction

Through July 18

Tinia Clark of Winter Haven and Gregory Jones of Lakeland are award-winning artists whose works have earned them a local following. Clark, a native Floridian, initially studied under local noted artist Elizabeth Clement, but soon discovered her own expressive style. Jones, a Virginia native, has been a staple on the local arts scene for decades and has made himself a regular exhibiting artist at art festivals throughout Florida. Works by these two artists will be celebrated in an exhibition focused on the duality of abstraction. Traditionally, abstraction has been defined as an artist’s personal style of restructuring recognizable subjects into something visually different -- the main point being that abstraction has roots in nature; in order to abstract, an artist must begin with a physical subject. However, abstraction also has come to describe expressive works of art that have no allusion to a natural subject. This form of abstraction is often also referred to as non-objective. Works by Clark and Jones represent both sides of abstraction: Clark’s more non-objective formal compositions contrast beautifully with Jones’ more traditionally abstracted subjects.


Free to Be Me: 3rd-5th Grade Elementary Students Exhibition

April 25-May 24

Awards Ceremonies: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2

This exhibition highlights the artwork of Polk County elementary school students. The exhibition is sponsored by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union and Publix Super Markets Charities.

Learning to Be Me: K-2nd Grade Elementary Students Exhibition

May 30-July 12

Awards Ceremonies: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 30

This exhibition highlights the artwork of Polk County’s youngest elementary school students. The exhibition is sponsored by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union and Publix Super Markets Charities.


The Museum offices will be closed May 25 for Memorial Day and will reopen to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 26.


MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake

Saturday & Sunday, May 9 & 10, 9 a.m.-4p.m., on Lake Morton, Lakeland

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.

Mayfaire Saturday Night

May 9, 5-11 p.m., at Frances Langford Promenade on Lake Mirror, Lakeland Admission: FREE

Mayfaire Saturday Night moves the fun to the Frances Langford 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 MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire 5K, sponsored by the Lakeland Runners Club. The race begins at 7 p.m. at Lake Mirror Center. The artist awards and race results are announced at approximately 8 p.m. A fireworks display begins about 9 p.m. For more information on the 5K, please visit LakelandRunnersClub.org/races/mayfaire.


Meet Me at PMoA: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia

  • Meet Me at PMoA to Make Art

Thursday, May 21, 10:30 a.m.-noon

Facilitator: Tinia Clark Fee: Free (registration required)

This is an art-based social engagement program offering a fun and comfortable way for people affected by dementia to get out, get active and get connected with like individuals through creative expression. The group is intended for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. If appropriate, their caregiving family member or professional caregiver stays on site.

  • Meet Me at PMoA Gallery Tour & Talk

Thursday, May 21, 2 p.m.

Facilitator: Tinia Clark Fee: Free (registration required)

This program provides an opportunity for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease (and related dementia) and their caregivers to engage in conversation about art on exhibit at the Museum. This program is designed for people in the early stages of dementia and their care partners.

Both programs are offered on the third Thursday of every month; space in each is limited to 8 participants and their caregivers. To register, contact Matt Belcher at 863-688-5423 or MBelcher@PolkMuseumofArt.org.

“Meet Me at PMoA” is based on the MOMA Alzheimer’s Project and is a collaboration between Polk Museum of Art, Alzheimer’s Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter and Sidestreet Art Beat, Inc.


Family Art Workshops

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-Noon Cost: FREE for everyone

May 2: Polk Museum of Art*

May 16: Mulberry Public Library

Family Art 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.

* A 30-minute tour of the main exhibition will be given preceding workshops at the Museum. Tours begin at 10 a.m.